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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Happy Birthday Barbara Smith

Feeling Rebloggy

"Barbara Smith has been an activist, organizer and writer for the past three decades, and with the recent publication of, The Truth That Never Hurts: Writings on Race, Gender and Freedom, we finally have a book length collection of her groundbreaking ideas, politics and analysis....

Smith relentless pursues the question of how can we build organizations and a progressive movement that includes the majority of society that feels the heel of oppression on their neck. How do we build strong coalitions working for radical social change that are multiracial, multigenerational, feminist, pro-queer and class conscious? But Smith isn’t just writing about why we need to all come together.

This collection presents crucial writings that address the complex and painful factors that have kept us apart and how inequality is reproduced in our movements. How can we organize against oppression without recreating oppression in the process of our organizing? How can we have critical dialogues about race, class, gender and sexuality and the ways that they shape our organizing and our politics, while we are working to challenge the larger structures of power and privilege in society? These are questions that she examines and begins to answer.

As a Black feminist lesbian socialist, who has consistently challenged racism and classism in the feminist movement, sexism and homophobia in the Black community, sexism and racism in the queer movement, these issues have never lived in the realm of theory alone. Barbara Smith has been a leading figure in the struggle to “build analysis, practice, and movements that accurately address the specific ways that racism, capitalism, and all the major systems of oppression interconnect in the United States.” She has helped develop the politics of intersectionality, that looks at the ways that race interacts with gender and sexuality connects with class and how these structures of oppression and privilege have shaped and influenced people’s lives"