• Living for the Revolution: Black Feminist Organizations, 1968–1980

    Author(s): Kimberly Springer
    Published: 2005
    Pages: 240
    Illustrations: 5 figures
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
  • Cloth: $89.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-3481-1
  • Paperback: $24.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-3493-4
  • Quantity
  • Add To Bag
  • Organizational Abbreviations vii

    Acknowledgments ix

    1. The Soul of Women's Lib 1

    2. No longer Divided against Ourselves 45

    3. Barbecue and Bake Sales Won't Fund a Movement 65

    4. Black Women's Issues as Feminist Issues 88

    5. Black Feminist Identities in Contestation 113

    6. War-Weary Warriors 139

    Conclusion 168

    Epilogue 173

    Appendix A: Interviews by Organization 181

    Appendix B: Interview Questions 183

    Appendix C: Statements of Purpose 185

    Notes 191

    Index 217

  • “[A] superb study. . . .” — Celia Valiente, International Feminist Journal of Politics

    “[A] well-researched study, grounded in strong empirical evidence, that allows us to hear the voices of African-American feminists who contributed in myriad important ways to the civil rights, black nationalist, and women's rights movement.” — Cecily Jones, British Journal of Sociology

    “[R]epresents one of the first in-depth analyses of Black Feminist Organizations and fills in an important chapter in African American, women's, and social movement history.” — FrauenSolidaritat

    “As the first study to document twelve important years of black feminist activism, Living for the Revolution is a book to remember, and was well worth the wait.” — Duchess Harris, The Journal of African American History

    “For many years the absence of an historical examination of second-wave black feminism has been a glaring lacuna in the historiography of modern feminism. Kimberly Springer’s Living for the Revolution rectifies that omission with insight and passion, and this brief but rich monograph instantly assumes a great place in the historical scholarship of feminism. . . . Living for the Revolution merits a wide readership and immediate placement in the history of feminism’s canon.” — Whitney Strub, Journal for the Study of Radicalism

    “Springer has contributed a work that greatly advances our knowledge of the substantial and sustained feminist activism of African American women in the postwar American cycle of protest. She has written an important book that remains a touchstone for anyone seeking to understand the complexity of the burgeoning and contentious American left of that era. . . . Springer's book, then, as an exploration of the lasting contributions of black feminists' grassroots organizing, should therefore be a required reading for all interested in the articulation of lasting visions of social change.” — Benita Roth, Peace and Change

    “Springer has laid out an agenda for future research and enriched our understanding of 1960s and 1970s feminism.” — Christina Greene, American Historical Review

    “Springer’s discussion of the activities of the next generation . . . helps keep hope alive and the political fires burning. But the difficulties facing formal black feminist organizing need close scrutiny of new organization are ever to spring up and thrive. We must understand the whys and how s of their predecessors’ demise as well as of their growth and legacy. This book makes an exhilarating contribution to this process.” — Tricia Rose, Women’s Review of Books

    “Springer's work is an exemplary organizational study of black feminism. . . .” — Stewart Burns, Journal of American History

    “The arrival of Kimberly Springer's Living for the Revolution: Black Feminist Organizations, 1968-1980 invites scholars to include gender and women activists in their discussions of the African-American political landscape between the Second Reconstruction and the Reagan revolution. Though speaking more explicitly to feminist historiography and organizational theory, Springer's study of five prominent Black feminist organizations signals a turn in our academic approach to the liberation struggle.” — Elizabeth Hinton, Souls

    "Living for the Revolution is an exciting and powerful work of historical and activist scholarship that brings into clear focus the visions, challenges, and framings of five black feminist organizations, groups that many Americans do not even know existed. Springer clearly challenges not only monolithic constructions of feminism and feminist, but also constructions of black women and black feminists as a homogenous group. She set out to begin to fill in gaps in the histories both of U.S. women’s movements and civil rights movements, and has produced a compelling text that is as thought provoking as it is enlightening." — On Campus with Women

    "Living for the Revolution proves that these organizations have left comprehensive maps, which black feminists can make use of today and in the future." — KaaVonia Hinton, Foreword

    "[A] treat. . . . Springer does a fine job laying out the challenges Black women faced . . . when trying to decide whether or not to join the women's movement."

    — Patrice Gaines, The Crisis

    "[I]n Springer's book we get another great opportunity to learn more about the activism of black women whose 'voices and visions fell between the cracks of the civil rights and women's movements' (p. 2). . . . Springer's work is invaluable in that it is the first book to bring black socialist feminism to the center stage when recounting the drama of postwar activism. Springer . . . force[s] Americans to avert their idolizing gaze from Martin and Malcolm and recognize that women were at the epicenter, as well as out in front of, the postwar period's most serious efforts to make this country more egalitarian." — Heather Ann Thompson, Reviews in American History

    "Readers looking to expand their cultural understanding or research into the topic will find this book very useful and enlightening." — Margot Considine, Altar Magazine

    "Sisters of all stripes who want to make a difference during these challenging political times will find guidance (and cautionary tales!) in one of the first historical overviews of the black feminist movement. . . . [E]ssential reading." — Evelyn C. White, Girlfriends

    "Springer's work provides the combination of historical narrative and sociological theory that can be used to influence both black feminist theory and its usage in public policy and human rights activism for decades to come." — Matthew W. Hughey, Canadian Journal of Sociology Online

    Reviews

  • “[A] superb study. . . .” — Celia Valiente, International Feminist Journal of Politics

    “[A] well-researched study, grounded in strong empirical evidence, that allows us to hear the voices of African-American feminists who contributed in myriad important ways to the civil rights, black nationalist, and women's rights movement.” — Cecily Jones, British Journal of Sociology

    “[R]epresents one of the first in-depth analyses of Black Feminist Organizations and fills in an important chapter in African American, women's, and social movement history.” — FrauenSolidaritat

    “As the first study to document twelve important years of black feminist activism, Living for the Revolution is a book to remember, and was well worth the wait.” — Duchess Harris, The Journal of African American History

    “For many years the absence of an historical examination of second-wave black feminism has been a glaring lacuna in the historiography of modern feminism. Kimberly Springer’s Living for the Revolution rectifies that omission with insight and passion, and this brief but rich monograph instantly assumes a great place in the historical scholarship of feminism. . . . Living for the Revolution merits a wide readership and immediate placement in the history of feminism’s canon.” — Whitney Strub, Journal for the Study of Radicalism

    “Springer has contributed a work that greatly advances our knowledge of the substantial and sustained feminist activism of African American women in the postwar American cycle of protest. She has written an important book that remains a touchstone for anyone seeking to understand the complexity of the burgeoning and contentious American left of that era. . . . Springer's book, then, as an exploration of the lasting contributions of black feminists' grassroots organizing, should therefore be a required reading for all interested in the articulation of lasting visions of social change.” — Benita Roth, Peace and Change

    “Springer has laid out an agenda for future research and enriched our understanding of 1960s and 1970s feminism.” — Christina Greene, American Historical Review

    “Springer’s discussion of the activities of the next generation . . . helps keep hope alive and the political fires burning. But the difficulties facing formal black feminist organizing need close scrutiny of new organization are ever to spring up and thrive. We must understand the whys and how s of their predecessors’ demise as well as of their growth and legacy. This book makes an exhilarating contribution to this process.” — Tricia Rose, Women’s Review of Books

    “Springer's work is an exemplary organizational study of black feminism. . . .” — Stewart Burns, Journal of American History

    “The arrival of Kimberly Springer's Living for the Revolution: Black Feminist Organizations, 1968-1980 invites scholars to include gender and women activists in their discussions of the African-American political landscape between the Second Reconstruction and the Reagan revolution. Though speaking more explicitly to feminist historiography and organizational theory, Springer's study of five prominent Black feminist organizations signals a turn in our academic approach to the liberation struggle.” — Elizabeth Hinton, Souls

    "Living for the Revolution is an exciting and powerful work of historical and activist scholarship that brings into clear focus the visions, challenges, and framings of five black feminist organizations, groups that many Americans do not even know existed. Springer clearly challenges not only monolithic constructions of feminism and feminist, but also constructions of black women and black feminists as a homogenous group. She set out to begin to fill in gaps in the histories both of U.S. women’s movements and civil rights movements, and has produced a compelling text that is as thought provoking as it is enlightening." — On Campus with Women

    "Living for the Revolution proves that these organizations have left comprehensive maps, which black feminists can make use of today and in the future." — KaaVonia Hinton, Foreword

    "[A] treat. . . . Springer does a fine job laying out the challenges Black women faced . . . when trying to decide whether or not to join the women's movement."

    — Patrice Gaines, The Crisis

    "[I]n Springer's book we get another great opportunity to learn more about the activism of black women whose 'voices and visions fell between the cracks of the civil rights and women's movements' (p. 2). . . . Springer's work is invaluable in that it is the first book to bring black socialist feminism to the center stage when recounting the drama of postwar activism. Springer . . . force[s] Americans to avert their idolizing gaze from Martin and Malcolm and recognize that women were at the epicenter, as well as out in front of, the postwar period's most serious efforts to make this country more egalitarian." — Heather Ann Thompson, Reviews in American History

    "Readers looking to expand their cultural understanding or research into the topic will find this book very useful and enlightening." — Margot Considine, Altar Magazine

    "Sisters of all stripes who want to make a difference during these challenging political times will find guidance (and cautionary tales!) in one of the first historical overviews of the black feminist movement. . . . [E]ssential reading." — Evelyn C. White, Girlfriends

    "Springer's work provides the combination of historical narrative and sociological theory that can be used to influence both black feminist theory and its usage in public policy and human rights activism for decades to come." — Matthew W. Hughey, Canadian Journal of Sociology Online

  • Living for the Revolution is a fabulous book with rich data and fine analysis. To date, nothing has been written that fills this particular historical vacuum. African American women’s participation in the feminist movement has only been told from the point of view of white feminists or in bits and pieces by others.” — Belinda Robnett, author of, How Long? How Long? African-American Women in the Struggle for Civil Rights

    Living for the Revolution will force scholars working on either the women’s movement or black liberation to change their standard narrative.” — Robin D. G. Kelley, author of, Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination

  • Permission to Photocopy (coursepacks)

    If you are requesting permission to photocopy material for classroom use, please contact the Copyright Clearance Center at copyright.com;

    If the Copyright Clearance Center cannot grant permission, you may request permission from our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).

    Permission to Reprint

    If you are requesting permission to reprint DUP material (journal or book selection) in another book or in any other format, contact our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).

    Images/Art

    Many images/art used in material copyrighted by Duke University Press are controlled, not by the Press, but by the owner of the image. Please check the credit line adjacent to the illustration, as well as the front and back matter of the book for a list of credits. You must obtain permission directly from the owner of the image. Occasionally, Duke University Press controls the rights to maps or other drawings. Please direct permission requests for these images to permissions@dukeupress.edu.
    For book covers to accompany reviews, please contact the publicity department.

    Subsidiary Rights/Foreign Translations

    If you're interested in a Duke University Press book for subsidiary rights/translations, please contact permissions@dukeupress.edu. Include the book title/author, rights sought, and estimated print run.

    Disability Requests

    Instructions for requesting an electronic text on behalf of a student with disabilities are available here.

    Rights & Permissions Contact Information

    Email: permissions@dukeupress.edu
    Email contact for coursepacks: asstpermissions@dukeupress.edu
    Fax: 919-688-4574
    Mail:
    Duke University Press
    Rights and Permissions
    905 W. Main Street
    Suite 18B
    Durham, NC 27701

    For all requests please include:
    1. Author's name. If book has an editor that is different from the article author, include editor's name also.
    2. Title of the journal article or book chapter and title of journal or title of book
    3. Page numbers (if excerpting, provide specifics)
    For coursepacks, please also note: The number of copies requested, the school and professor requesting
    For reprints and subsidiary rights, please also note: Your volume title, publication date, publisher, print run, page count, rights sought
  • Description

    The first in-depth analysis of the black feminist movement, Living for the Revolution fills in a crucial but overlooked chapter in African American, women’s, and social movement history. Through original oral history interviews with key activists and analysis of previously unexamined organizational records, Kimberly Springer traces the emergence, life, and decline of several black feminist organizations: the Third World Women’s Alliance, Black Women Organized for Action, the National Black Feminist Organization, the National Alliance of Black Feminists, and the Combahee River Collective. The first of these to form was founded in 1968; all five were defunct by 1980. Springer demonstrates that these organizations led the way in articulating an activist vision formed by the intersections of race, gender, class, and sexuality.

    The organizations that Springer examines were the first to explicitly use feminist theory to further the work of previous black women’s organizations. As she describes, they emerged in response to marginalization in the civil rights and women’s movements, stereotyping in popular culture, and misrepresentation in public policy. Springer compares the organizations’ ideologies, goals, activities, memberships, leadership styles, finances, and communication strategies. Reflecting on the conflicts, lack of resources, and burnout that led to the demise of these groups, she considers the future of black feminist organizing, particularly at the national level. Living for the Revolution is an essential reference: it provides the history of a movement that influenced black feminist theory and civil rights activism for decades to come.

    About The Author(s)

    Kimberly Springer is a lecturer in American Studies at Kings College, University of London. She is the editor of Still Lifting, Still Climbing: African American Women’s Contemporary Activism.

Explore More
Share

Create a reading list or add to an existing list. Sign-in or register now to continue.


Contact Us

  • Duke University Press
  • 905 W. Main St. Ste 18-B
  • Durham, NC 27701
  • U.S. phone (toll-free): 888-651-0122
  • International: 1-919-688-5134
  • orders@dukeupress.edu