Celebrate the 40th Birthday of the Combahee River Collective Statement

Essential books by radical women of color—Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Barbara Ransby, Gloria Anzaldúa, Cherríe Moraga, Ida B. Wells and more.

In These Times Staff

Ida B. Wells (Mary Garrity/Wikimedia Commons)

How We Get Free, edited by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor (November 2017

In 1977, a group of radical black feminists called the Combahee River Collective released a statement against “racial, sexual, heterosexual and class oppression.” In this collection, scholar Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor interviews Combahee members. “We didn’t know it, but what we were doing was incubating the next revolution,” says co-founder Demita Frazier.

Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement by Barbara Ransby (2003)

Both colleague and critic of Martin Luther King Jr., Ella Baker is quoted saying, “Strong people don’t need strong leaders.” Barbara Ransby’s landmark biography shows Baker walked the walk on her critiques of top-down, patriarchal organizing, and provides an alternative history of the civil rights movement through Baker’s “radical democratic vision.”

This Bridge Called My Back, edited by Gloria Anzaldúa and Cherríe Moraga (1981)

This classic anthology lays out “an uncompromised definition of feminism.” Through prose, poetry and visual art, contributors such as Audre Lorde explore how race, class, gender and sexuality all shape the oppression of women of color—and how the mainstream women’s and civil rights movements have often ignored this.

The Light of Truth by Ida B. Wells (2014)

Ida B. Wells is best known for her investigative journalism. But Wells, who founded Illinois' largest suffrage club for black women, is also a criminally underrated feminist thinker. Her collected writings feature muckraking reporting and pathbreaking analyses of how white supremacy breeds in a petri dish of racism, misogyny and anxiety about masculinity.

Support this work

Reader donations, many as small as just $5, are what fund the work of writers like this—and keep our content free and accessible to everyone. If you support this work, will chip in to help fund it?

It only takes a minute to donate. Click here to make a tax-deductible donation.

More articles by In These Times Staff
Watch live online: “An Honest Look at the Climate Crisis” with Bill McKibben
Join us live online for our 45th Anniversary Celebration & Raffle, featuring Bill McKibben and Noam Chomsky.
Feature
33% of Parents Went Into Debt to Pay for Summer Childcare in 2018
This year’s back-to-school deals: pens, pencils, and... childcare?
Feature
The Housing Crisis Is Worse Than You Think
A new report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition shows it’s getting increasingly difficult to afford housing.
Similar articles
Culture
30 Years After the ADA, We're Still Fighting for Disability Justice
Without inclusion, none of us will be free.
A.A. Vincent
Culture
Restorative Justice: A Much-Needed Alternative to Mass Incarceration
Courts and schools across the country are looking beyond punishment.
In These Times Editors
Culture
Top 10 Strangest (and Most Beautiful) Films of 2018
The best films of the year explore the hollowness of contemporary Korean culture, faith in an era of climate change, the last frantic day in the life of a Hollywood director and more.
Michael Atkinson
Join our newsletter
Fearless journalism, emailed straight to you.
Subscribe and Save 66%

Less than $1.67 an issue