Want to Start a Revolution?: Radical Women in the Black Freedom Struggle

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NYU Press, Nov 1, 2009 - Social Science - 370 pages

The story of the black freedom struggle in America has been overwhelmingly male-centric, starring leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Huey Newton. With few exceptions, black women have been perceived as supporting actresses; as behind-the-scenes or peripheral activists, or rank and file party members. But what about Vicki Garvin, a Brooklyn-born activist who became a leader of the National Negro Labor Council and guide to Malcolm X on his travels through Africa? What about Shirley Chisholm, the first black Congresswoman?
From Rosa Parks and Esther Cooper Jackson, to Shirley Graham DuBois and Assata Shakur, a host of women demonstrated a lifelong commitment to radical change, embracing multiple roles to sustain the movement, founding numerous groups and mentoring younger activists. Helping to create the groundwork and continuity for the movement by operating as local organizers, international mobilizers, and charismatic leaders, the stories of the women profiled in Want to Start a Revolution? help shatter the pervasive and imbalanced image of women on the sidelines of the black freedom struggle.
Contributors: Margo Natalie Crawford, Prudence Cumberbatch, Johanna Fernández, Diane C. Fujino, Dayo F. Gore, Joshua Guild, Gerald Horne, Ericka Huggins, Angela D. LeBlanc-Ernest, Joy James, Erik McDuffie, Premilla Nadasen, Sherie M. Randolph, James Smethurst, Margaret Stevens, and Jeanne Theoharis.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Esther Cooper Jackson and the Making of a Black Left Feminist
25
A Study of Female Charismatic Leadership in Baltimore
47
The Visionary Politics and Transnational Solidarities of Victoria Vicki Ama Garvin
71
Portrait of the Black Woman Artist as a Revolutionary
95
The Radicalism of Rosa Parks
115
Assata Shakur and Black Female Agency
138
The Black Panther Partys Oakland Community School
161
Women in Atlantas Black Arts Movement
205
Florynce Kennedy Black Power and Feminism
223
Shirley Chisholms Radical Politics of Possibility
248
Stretching the Political Boundaries of Struggle
271
Yuri Kochiyamas Humanizing Radicalism
294
Johnnie Tillmon Welfare Rights and Black Power
317
About the Contributors
339
Index
343

Revisiting The Black Woman
185

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About the author (2009)

Jeanne Theoharis is distinguished Professor of Political Science at Brooklyn College of CUNY. She is the author of numerous books and articles on the black freedom struggle, including the award-winning The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks (Beacon Press, 2013) and most recently A More Beautiful and Terrible History (Beacon Press, 2018).

Komozi Woodard is Professor of American History, Public Policy, and Africana Studies at Sarah Lawrence College and author of A Nation within a Nation: Amiri Baraka and Black Power Politics.

Dayo F. Gore is Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies and Critical Gender Studies at the University of California, San Diego and has previously taught at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She is the co-editor (with Jeanne Theoharis and Komozi Woodard) of Want to Start a Revolution? Radical Women in the Black Freedom Struggle (NYU Press, 2009).

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