From the Trade Paperback edition.
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.
In Sisters in the Struggle, we hear about the unsung heroes of the civil rights movements such as Ella Baker, who helped found the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, Fannie Lou Hamer, a sharecropper who took on segregation in the Democratic party (and won), and Septima Clark, who created a network of "Citizenship Schools" to teach poor Black men and women to read and write and help them to register to vote. We learn of Black women's activism in the Black Panther Party where they fought the police, as well as the entrenched male leadership, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, where the behind-the-scenes work of women kept the organization afloat when it was under siege. It also includes first-person testimonials from the women who made headlines with their courageous resistance to segregation—Rosa Parks, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, and Dorothy Height.
This collection represents the coming of age of African-American women's history and presents new stories that point the way to future study.
Contributors: Bettye Collier-Thomas, Vicki Crawford, Cynthia Griggs Fleming, V. P. Franklin, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Farah Jasmine Griffin, Duchess Harris, Sharon Harley, Dorothy I. Height, Chana Kai Lee, Tracye Matthews, Genna Rae McNeil, Rosa Parks, Barbara Ransby, Jacqueline A. Rouse, Elaine Moore Smith, and Linda Faye Williams.
"The indefatigable Beverly Guy-Sheftall has put together a breathtaking sweep of African American feminist thought in one indispensable volume." —Elizabeth Spelman, Professor of Philosophy, Smith College
In the Black community, rape, violence against women, and sexual harassment are as much the legacy of slavery as is racism. Johnnetta Betsch Cole and Beverly Guy-Sheftall argue powerfully that the only way to defeat this legacy is to focus on the intersection of race and gender.
Gender Talk examines why the “race problem” has become so male-centered and how this has opened a deep divide between Black women and men. The authors turn to their own lives, offering intimate accounts of their experiences as daughters, wives, and leaders. They examine pivotal moments in African American history when race and gender issues collided with explosive results—from the struggle for women’s suffrage in the nineteenth century to women’s attempts to gain a voice in the Black Baptist movement and on into the 1960s, when the Civil Rights movement and the upsurge of Black Power transformed the Black community while sidelining women.
Along the way, they present the testimonies of a large and influential group of Black women and men, including bell hooks, Faye Wattleton, Byllye Avery, Cornell West, Robin DG Kelley, Michael Eric Dyson, Marcia Gillispie, and Dorothy Height.
Provding searching analysis into the present, Cole and Guy-Sheftall uncover the cultural assumptions and attitudes in hip-hop and rap, in the O.J. Simpson and Mike Tyson trials, in the Million Men and Million Women Marches, and in the battle over Clarence Thomas’s appointment to the Supreme Court. Fearless and eye-opening, Gender Talk is required reading for anyone concerned with the future of African American women—and men.
From the Hardcover edition.
As an organizer, writer, publisher, scholar-activist, and elected official, Barbara Smith has played key roles in multiple social justice movements, including Civil Rights, feminism, lesbian and gay liberation, anti-racism, and Black feminism. Her four decades of grassroots activism forged collaborations that introduced the idea that oppression must be fought on a variety of fronts simultaneously, including gender, race, class, and sexuality. By combining hard-to-find historical documents with new unpublished interviews with fellow activists, this book uncovers the deep roots of today’s “identity politics” and “intersectionality” and serves as an essential primer for practicing solidarity and resistance.
“Barbara Smith is a creator of modern feminism as a writer, organizer, editor, publisher, and scholar. Now she has added to her decades as an activist outside the system by becoming an elected official who truly listens, represents, and creates bridges to a common good. She has shown us that democracy is a seed that can only be planted where we are.” — Gloria Steinem
“Barbara Smith is one of the grand pioneering and prophetic voices of our time. Her truth still hurts and heals!” — Cornel West
“Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around is not a memoir, a biography, nor a reader. It is a reflection and a conversation. It is also a montage of forty years of documents, interviews, and articles that provide useful lessons for social justice work. This book is a tour de force that documents the life’s work of Barbara Smith and the freedom struggles she shaped.” — Duchess Harris, author of Black Feminist Politics from Kennedy to Obama
The chapters cover: first-wave feminism, a period of feminist activity during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries which focused primarily on gaining women's suffrage; second-wave feminism, which started in the ’60s and lasted through the ’80s and emphasized the connection between the personal and the political; and third-wave feminism, which started in the early ’90s and is best exemplified by its focus on diversity and intersectionality, queer theory, and sex-positivity.