The Feminist Bookstore Movement: Lesbian Antiracism and Feminist Accountability

Duke University Press
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From the 1970s through the 1990s more than one hundred feminist bookstores built a transnational network that helped shape some of feminism's most complex conversations. Kristen Hogan traces the feminist bookstore movement's rise and eventual fall, restoring its radical work to public feminist memory. The bookwomen at the heart of this story—mostly lesbians and including women of color—measured their success not by profit, but by developing theories and practices of lesbian antiracism and feminist accountability. At bookstores like BookWoman in Austin, the Toronto Women’s Bookstore, and Old Wives’ Tales in San Francisco, and in the essential Feminist Bookstore News, bookwomen changed people’s lives and the world. In retelling their stories, Hogan not only shares the movement's tools with contemporary queer antiracist feminist activists and theorists, she gives us a vocabulary, strategy, and legacy for thinking through today's feminisms. 
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About the author

Kristen Hogan, who worked at BookWoman in Austin and at the Toronto Women's Bookstore, is Education Program Coordinator for the University of Texas Gender and Sexuality Center at the University of Texas, Austin.  
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Additional Information

Publisher
Duke University Press
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Published on
Mar 10, 2016
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Pages
328
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ISBN
9780822374336
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Ethnic Studies / African American Studies
Social Science / LGBT Studies / Lesbian Studies
Social Science / Women's Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Reveals a remarkable woman’s life and her contributions to social justice movements related to Civil Rights, feminism, lesbian and gay liberation, anti-racism, and Black feminism.

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.

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“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
M. Jacqui Alexander is one of the most important theorists of transnational feminism working today. Pedagogies of Crossing brings together essays she has written over the past decade, uniting her incisive critiques, which have had such a profound impact on feminist, queer, and critical race theories, with some of her more recent work. In this landmark interdisciplinary volume, Alexander points to a number of critical imperatives made all the more urgent by contemporary manifestations of neoimperialism and neocolonialism. Among these are the need for North American feminism and queer studies to take up transnational frameworks that foreground questions of colonialism, political economy, and racial formation; for a thorough re-conceptualization of modernity to account for the heteronormative regulatory practices of modern state formations; and for feminists to wrestle with the spiritual dimensions of experience and the meaning of sacred subjectivity.

In these meditations, Alexander deftly unites large, often contradictory, historical processes across time and space. She focuses on the criminalization of queer communities in both the United States and the Caribbean in ways that prompt us to rethink how modernity invents its own traditions; she juxtaposes the political organizing and consciousness of women workers in global factories in Mexico, the Caribbean, and Canada with the pressing need for those in the academic factory to teach for social justice; she reflects on the limits and failures of liberal pluralism; and she presents original and compelling arguments that show how and why transgenerational memory is an indispensable spiritual practice within differently constituted women-of-color communities as it operates as a powerful antidote to oppression. In this multifaceted, visionary book, Alexander maps the terrain of alternative histories and offers new forms of knowledge with which to mold alternative futures.

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 Investigates the rise and fall of US American lesbian cultural institutions since the 1970s.
LGBT Americans now enjoy the right to marry—but what will we remember about the vibrant cultural spaces that lesbian activists created in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s? Most are vanishing from the calendar—and from recent memory. The Disappearing L explores the rise and fall of the hugely popular women-only concerts, festivals, bookstores, and support spaces built by and for lesbians in the era of woman-identified activism. Through the stories unfolding in these chapters, anyone unfamiliar with the Michigan festival, Olivia Records, or the women’s bookstores once dotting the urban landscape will gain a better understanding of the era in which artists and activists first dared to celebrate lesbian lives. This book offers the backstory to the culture we are losing to mainstreaming and assimilation. Through interviews with older activists, it also responds to recent attacks on lesbian feminists who are being made to feel that they’ve hit their cultural expiration date.

“The Disappearing L is both an ‘insider’ story and a well-written analysis of a neglected piece of cultural history. Morris delivers convincing arguments about why the lesbian-feminist era was important not only to the individuals who lived it but also to a broader understanding of what has come to be called ‘LGBT’ history. No one could be better positioned to write this book than Morris.” — Lillian Faderman, author of The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle
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