The organizations that Springer examines were the first to explicitly use feminist theory to further the work of previous black women’s organizations. As she describes, they emerged in response to marginalization in the civil rights and women’s movements, stereotyping in popular culture, and misrepresentation in public policy. Springer compares the organizations’ ideologies, goals, activities, memberships, leadership styles, finances, and communication strategies. Reflecting on the conflicts, lack of resources, and burnout that led to the demise of these groups, she considers the future of black feminist organizing, particularly at the national level. Living for the Revolution is an essential reference: it provides the history of a movement that influenced black feminist theory and civil rights activism for decades to come.
Kimberly Springer is a lecturer in American Studies at Kings College, University of London. She is the editor of Still Lifting, Still Climbing: African American Women’s Contemporary Activism.
Covering grassroots and national movements alike, contributors explore black women's mobilization around such areas as the black nationalist movements, the Million Man March, black feminism, anti-rape movements, mass incarceration, the U.S. Congress, welfare rights, health care, and labor organizing. Detailing the impact of post-1960s African American women's activism, they provide a much-needed update to the historical narrative.
Ideal for course use, the volume includes original essays as well as primary source documents such as first-hand accounts of activism and statements of purpose. Each contributor carefully situates their topic within its historical framework, providing an accessible context for those unfamiliar with black women's history, and demonstrating that African American women's political agency does not emerge from a vacuum, but is part of a complex system of institutions, economics, and personal beliefs.
This ambitious volume will be an invaluable resource on the state of contemporary African American women's activism.