Why has the African American community remained silent about gender even as race has moved to the forefront of our nation's consciousness? In this important new book, two of the nation's leading African American intellectuals offer a resounding and far-reaching answer to a question that has been ignored for far too long. Hard-hitting and brilliant in its analysis of culture and sexual politics, Gender Talk asserts boldly that gender matters are critical to the Black community in the twenty-first century. 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.
Audre Lorde was not only a famous poet; she was also one of the most important radical black feminists of the past century. Her writings and speeches grappled with an impressive broad list of topics, including sexuality, race, gender, class, disease, the arts, parenting, and resistance, and they have served as a transformative and important foundation for theorists and activists in considering questions of power and social justice. Lorde embraced difference, and at each turn she emphasized the importance of using it to build shared strength among marginalized communities. I Am Your Sister is a collection of Lorde's non-fiction prose, written between 1976 and 1990, and it introduces new perspectives on the depth and range of Lorde's intellectual interests and her commitments to progressive social change. Presented here, for the first time in print, is a major body of Lorde's speeches and essays, along with the complete text of A Burst of Light and Lorde's landmark prose works Sister Outsider and The Cancer Journals. Together, these writings reveal Lorde's commitment to a radical course of thought and action, situating her works within the women's, gay and lesbian, and African American Civil Rights movements. They also place her within a continuum of black feminists, from Sojourner Truth, to Anna Julia Cooper, Amy Jacques Garvey, Lorraine Hansberry, and Patricia Hill Collins. I Am Your Sister concludes with personal reflections from Alice Walker, Gloria Joseph, Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Beverly Guy-Sheftall, and bell hooks on Lorde's political and social commitments and the indelibility of her writings for all who are committed to a more equitable society.
From Eleanor Roosevelt to feminist icon Gloria Steinem to HIV/AIDS activist Dazon Dixon Diallo, women have assumed leadership roles in struggles for social justice. How did these remarkable women ascend to positions of influence? And once in power, what leadership strategies did they use to deal with various challenges? Junctures in Women's Leadership: Social Movements explores these questions by introducing twelve women who have spearheaded a wide array of social movements that span the 1940s to the present, working for indigenous peoples' rights, gender equality, reproductive rights, labor advocacy, environmental justice, and other causes. The women profiled here work in a variety of arenas across the globe: Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards, New York City labor organizer Bhairavi Desai, women's rights leader Charlotte Bunch, feminist poet Audre Lorde, civil rights activists Daisy Bates and Aileen Clarke Hernandez, Kenyan environmental activist Wangari Maathai, Nicaraguan revolutionary Mirna Cunningham, and South African public prosecutor Thuli Madonsela. What unites them all is the way these women made sacrifices, asked critical questions, challenged injustice, and exhibited the will to act in the face of often-harsh criticism and violence. The case studies in Junctures in Women's Leadership: Social Movements demonstrate the diversity of ways that women around the world have practiced leadership, in many instances overcoming rigid cultural expectations about gender. Moreover, the cases provide a unique window into the ways that women leaders make decisions at moments of struggle and historical change.
Cheryl Clarke, Angela Davis, bell hooks, June Jordan, Audre Lorde and Alice Walker - from the pioneers of black women's studies comes Still Brave, the definitive collection of race and gender writings today. Including Alice Walker's groundbreaking elucidation of the term 'womanist,' discussions of women's rights as human rights and a piece on the Obama factor, the collection speaks to the ways that feminism has evolved and how black women have confronted racism within it.
"In this pathbreaking collection of articles, Dr. Beverly Guy-Sheftall has taken us from the early 1830s to contemporary times. Only since the seventies have black women used the term "feminism." And yet, it is that concept that she uses to bring into the same frame the ideas and analyses of Maria Stewart, Sojourner Truth, and Frances W.E. Harper of the early nineteenth century, and the work of women such as the late Audre Lorde, Barbara Smith, and bell hooks who stand on the threshold of the twenty-first century... She has refused to cut off contemporary African American women from the long line of sisters who have righteously struggled for the liberation of African American women from the dual oppressions of racism and sexism." --From the epilogue by Johnnetta B. Cole, President, Spelman College"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
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