¶ 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 With a broad base of co-sponsors included the four “ethnic” studies centers at UCLA, Chicano, African Studies, American Indian, Afro-Am Studies, as well as Latin American Studies and women’s studies ) community organizations, such as the Asian Pacific Women’s Network, Hispanic Women’s Council, and Watts Community Housing Corporation, in addition to art world organizations (Wight Gallery, UCLA Museum of Cultural History Museum, Museum of African American Art, Afro-American Museum, The Dark Madonna symposium sought to bring together a diverse group of participants and speakers.
¶ 3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 The discourse of the Dark Madonna rested on a notion of similarities among women and connections across the differences. In 1984 “suggesting and affirming the commonality of women” while also arguing that “we can only understand our shared humanity by respecting our individual cultural and racial uniqueness” went against the prevalent tide of (academic) feminist theory.  In what follows, I explore the “grammar of liberation” reading closely to reveal how constructions of sameness and difference subordinated or subsumed the latter to the former. I see this rhetoric not as a betrayal of feminism’s interest in differences between/among women, but in an attempt by both activists and scholars to “save” their movement which appeared to be foundering by the mid 1980s.
¶ 4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 Suzanne Lacy remained committed to exploring the meaning of relationships across the identity factors that divide women. She never was simplistically committed to some sort of universal sisterhood, but she retains the faith of early women’s liberation, that in addition to women’s differences, there are commonalities too, and the exploring those bonds has meaning and significance for political movements and the transformation of society.
¶ 6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 1 At that point in time, it was hard to talk about an emotional bond that might exist between black and white women because the national consciousness of racism made our approaches as white women to women of color quite circumspect. We were often paralyzed by fears of our own racism and guilt about our built-in privilege. … Adrienne Rich addressed that in her article. She talked about how, even from childhood, some white women had black housekeepers, substitute mothers, and how later that translated into a longing for more connection with black women. I didn’t have a black housekeeper—we were working class—but there are certain ethnicities, in particular black, that are extremely attractive by virtue of some shared qualities. I find black women incredibly mothering, strong, and wise.
¶ 8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 0  The name itself, The Dark Madonna, represented a desire to be as inclusive as possible. During dialogues with community participants in February of 1984, the original title “The Black Madonna” [the name used in scholarly circles for the icon] was deemed divisive by at least one participant of mixed ethnic heritage. While black community members expressed their concern with the rejection of the label “black.” By April of 1984 the planning documents reveal the name change to “The Dark Madonna.”