Patricia Hill Collins

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Early Life

Patricia Hill Collins was born in Philadelphia on May 1, 1948. Patricia was an only child and her parents were both involved in the war efforts of World War II. In her early schooling, Patricia was discriminated against for being one of the few African American woman whose parents were in the working class. After public school, she attended Brandies University. Moving to Boston helped her overcome the discrimination she had faced in the past, and she was able to begin shaping her own sociological perspective from being in a new environment. Patricia received her Bachelor of Arts with a major in sociology, and soon after continued her education further at Harvard University, earning her Master of Arts in Teaching. in 1970.


Patricia Hill Collins is widely recognized for her well known article: "Learning from the Outsider Within," which was published in the academic journal Social Problems in 1986. The article represents her experiences being an African American woman during her endeavours in education and throughout life. Collins work has widely revolved around the problems that regard African Americans, as well as the misinterpretations having to do with various issues. Aside from this article, Patricia wrote one of many books titled Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge. Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment, which was given numerous awards along with a ten year anniversary sequel to the book. Patricia is known for many other books some include, Fighting Words: Black Women and the Struggle for Justice, Black Sexual Politics: African Americans, Gender and the New Racism, Race, Class and Gender: An Anthology which was co-written with Margaret L. Anderson. Patricia has been honoured for many of her accomplishments, her work focuses mainly on gender and race, and their linkages to repression.

Patricia's Awards

  • Faculty of the Year Award at the University of Cincinnati
  • C. Wright Mills Award for the first edition of Black Feminist Thought
  • Award for Outstanding Service to African-American Students at the University of Cincinnati
  • Named The Charles Phelps Taft Professor of Sociology by the University of Cincinnati, making her the first-ever African-American, and only the second *woman, to hold this position
  • American Sociological Association Distinguished Scholarly Book Award for her book Black Sexual Politics
  • Emeritus Status from University of Maryland, College Park
  • Morris Rosenberg Award for Student Mentorship from the University of Maryland
  • Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize her contributions to racial and ethnic relations from Brandeis University
  • Distinguished University Professor from University of Maryland