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The Combahee River Collective statement was created and written by Afrocentric black feminists who parted ways from the NBFO (National Black Feminist. The Combahee River Collective, founded by black feminists and lesbians in Boston, in , was best known for its Combahee River Collective Statement. The Combahee River Collective Statement. Combahee River Collective (). We are a collective of Black feminists who have been meeting together since.

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If Black women were free, it would mean that everyone else would have to be free since our freedom would necessitate the destruction of all the systems of oppression. As Black feminists we are made constantly and painfully aware of how little effort white women have made to understand and combat their racism, which requires among other things that they have a more than superficial comprehension of race, color, and Black history and culture.

After all, it is only reasonable that the man be the head of the house because he is able to defend and protect the development of his home We decided at that time, with the addition of new members, to become cobahee study group.

Wallace is pessimistic but realistic in her assessment of Black feminists’ position, particularly in her allusion to the nearly classic isolation most of us face. There is also undeniably a personal genesis for Black Feminism, that is, the political realization that comes from the seemingly personal experiences of individual Black women’s lives.

Grant believes the CRC was most important in the “emergence of coalition politics in the late s and early s [ Black, other Third World, and combajee women have been colective in the feminist movement from its start, but starement outside reactionary forces and racism and elitism within the movement itself have served to obscure our participation.

Collecfive be recognized as human, levelly human, is enough. The Collective held their last network retreat in February[26] and disbanded some time that year. During our first summer when membership had dropped off considerably, those of us remaining devoted serious discussion to the possibility of opening a refuge for battered women in a Black community. We rivdr not convinced, however, that a socialist revolution that is not also a feminist and anti-racist revolution will guarantee our liberation.

Raid at Combahee Ferry. Many of us were active in those movements Collwctive Rights, Black nationalism, the Black Panthersand all of our lives Were greatly affected and changed by their ideologies, their goals, and the tactics used to achieve their goals.

Having an event to respond to and to collectively organize around gave them a cause to focus on As we have already stated, we reject the stance of Lesbian separatism because it is not a viable political analysis or strategy for us. Black feminists often talk about their feelings of craziness before becoming conscious of the concepts of sexual politics, patriarchal rule, and most importantly, feminism, the political analysis and practice that we women use to struggle against our oppression. One issue that is of major concern to us and that we have begun to publicly address is racism in the white women’s movement.



The Combahee River Collective Statement

Author Alexis De Veauxbiographer of poet Audre Lordedescribes a goal of the retreats as to “institutionalize Black feminism” and collectiev “an ideological separation from white feminism”, as well as to discuss “the limitations of white feminists’ fixation ‘on the cmbahee of gender as an oppression.

The work to be done and the countless issues that this work represents merely reflect the pervasiveness of etatement oppression. The Challenge of Black Lesbian Organizing”, which borrows its title from Frazier’s statement, Barbara Smith describes statemrnt early activities of the collective as ” consciousness raising and political work on a multitude of issues”, along with the building of “friendship networks, community and a rich Black women’s culture where none had existed before.

A political contribution which we feel we have already made is the expansion of the feminist principle that the personal is political. Smith developed these ideas into a pamphlet on the topic, articulating the need “to look at these murders as both racist and sexist crimes” and emphasizing the need to “talk about violence against women in the Black community.

The Combahee River Collective Statement

Here is the way male and female roles were defined in a Black nationalist pamphlet from the early s:. We do not have racial, sexual, heterosexual, or class privilege to rely upon, nor do we have even the minimal access to resources and power that groups who possess anyone of these types of privilege have.

Although co,bahee were not collectife political work as a group, individuals continued their involvement in Lesbian politics, sterilization abuse and abortion rights work, Third World Women’s International Women’s Day activities, and support activity for the trials of Dr.

They state, ” We are particularly committed to working on those struggles in which race, sex, and class are simultaneous factors in oppression. The inclusiveness of our politics makes us concerned with any situation that impinges upon the lives of women, Third World and working people.

In collsctive Encyclopedia of Government and PoliticsM. The sanctions In the Black and white communities against Black women thinkers is comparatively much higher than for white women, particularly ones from the educated middle and upper classes. The Combahee Collechive Collective Statement was separated into four separate chapters: Above all else, Our politics initially sprang from the shared belief that Black women are inherently valuable, that our liberation is a necessity not as an adjunct to somebody else’s may because of our need as human persons for autonomy.

One of our members did attend and despite the narrowness of the ideology that was promoted at that particular conference, we became more aware of the need for us to understand our own economic situation and to make our own economic analysis. I haven’t the faintest notion what possible revolutionary role white heterosexual men could fulfill, since they are the very embodiment of reactionary-vested-interest-power.

As Angela Davis points out in “Reflections on the Black Woman’s Role in the Community of Slaves,” Black women have always embodied, if only in their physical manifestation, an adversary stance to white male rule and have actively resisted its inroads ckllective them and their communities in both dramatic and subtle ways.

Franklin, Sisters in the Struggle: They realize that they might not only lose valuable and hardworking allies in their struggles but that they might also be forced to change their habitually sexist ways of interacting with and oppressing Black women.


Our development must also be tied to the contemporary economic and political position of Black people. The most general statement of our politics at the present time would be that we are actively committed to struggling against racial, sexual, heterosexual, and class oppression, and see as our particular task the development of integrated analysis and practice based upon the fact that the major systems of oppression are interlocking.

The overwhelming feeling that we had is that after years and years we had finally found each other. Wells Barnettand Mary Church Terrellas well as thousands upon thousands of unknown women. The Collective held retreats throughout the Northeast between and to discuss issues of concern to black feminists.

Collective members ocllective contributors include:. Although our cmbahee position is still at the very bottom of the American capitalistic economy, a handful of us have been able to gain certain tools as a result of tokenism in education and employment which potentially enable us to more effectively fight our oppression.

After a period of months of not meeting, we began to meet again late in the year and started doing an intense variety of consciousness-raising. The major source of difficulty in our political work is that we are not just trying to fight oppression on one front or even two, but instead to address a whole range of oppressions.

Combahee River Collective

Black people, especially Black women; other women of color; and white feminists, many of whom were also lesbians. In Roderick Ferguson ‘s book Aberrations in Black, the Combahee River Collective Statement collectie cited as “rearticulating coalition to address gender, racial, and sexual dominance as part of capitalist expansion globally. The value of men combaher women can be seen as in the value of gold and silver—they are not equal but both have great value.

Smith and the Combahee River Collective have been credited with coining the term identity politics, which they defined collective “a politics that grew out of our objective material experiences as Black women. The Black feminist political analysis and commbahee the Combahee River Collective had developed since enabled us to grasp both the sexual-political and racial-political implications of the murders and positioned us to be the link between the various communities that were outraged: Women’s history Feminist history Timeline of women’s rights other than voting.

Black women’s extremely negative relationship to the American political system a system of white male rule has always been determined by combayee membership in two oppressed racial and sexual castes. Our situation as Black people necessitates that we have solidarity around the fact of race, which white women of course do not need to have with white men, unless it is their negative solidarity as racial oppressors.