For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Black Women's Studies: From Theory to Transformative Practice"

by Brewer, Rose M (2011)


The current period of global capitalist crisis presents daunting challenges for struggles against transnational capital, white supremacy, and global heteropatriarchy. A complex theoretical and practice-oriented understanding of Black Women’s Studies is needed. The call for Black Women’s Studies was first articulated by Anna Julia Cooper in the early twentieth century. The “Combahee River Collective Statement” of 1977 was a major landmark, and For Some of Us Are Brave (Hull, Bell Scott, and Smith 1982) became the leading conceptual volume in the field. But too little has been added to this in the new century. A recent volume, Still Brave (James, Smith Foster, and Guy-Sheftall 2009), makes an initial attempt, but leaves unanswered a number of questions around social transformation. The current crisis has produced some of the most vicious attacks on black women – our lives, our children. The Katrina travesty publicly exposed the disposability of poor African Americans. The move to the right in the US and the public attack on all working people has been especially hard. The dismantling of a social wage not only forces exploitative labor and poverty onto millions of women in the US, but takes away basic rights – to food, shelter, housing and

Key Passage



Black Women, Gender, Race, Patriarchy, Class, Poverty, United States


Black Women

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