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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In a interview with Susan Goodwillie, Smith noted that this action moved the group out into the wider Boston community.

We are of course particularly committed to working on those struggles in which race, sex, and class are simultaneous factors in oppression.

Franklin, Sisters in the Struggle: The synthesis of these oppressions creates the conditions of our lives. We had a retreat in the late spring which provided a time for both political discussion statemebt working out interpersonal issues.

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. Before looking at the recent development of Black feminism we would like to affirm that we find our origins in the historical reality of Afro-American women’s continuous life-and-death struggle for survival and liberation.

They state, ” We are particularly committed to working on those struggles in which rier, sex, and class are simultaneous factors in oppression. African-American topics History timeline. We had always shared our reading with each other, and some of us had written papers on Black feminism for group discussion a few months before this decision was made.

As Black women we see Black feminism as the logical political movement to combat the manifold and simultaneous oppressions that all women of color face. Many of us were active in those movements Civil Rights, Black nationalism, the Black Panthersand all of our lives Were greatly affected and changed by combahhee ideologies, their goals, and the tactics used to achieve their goals. Although we are in essential agreement with Marx’s theory as it applied to the very specific economic relationships dtatement analyzed, we know that his analysis must be extended further in order for us to understand our statejent economic situation as Black women.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Sattement we are feminists and Lesbians, we feel solidarity with progressive Black men and do not advocate the fractionalization that white women who are separatists demand. During our first summer when membership had dropped off considerably, those collectice us remaining devoted serious discussion to the possibility of opening a refuge for battered women in a Black community. Contemporary Black feminism is the outgrowth of countless generations of personal sacrifice, militancy, and work by our mothers and sisters.


There is a very low value placed upon Black women’s psyches in this society, which is both racist and sexist. Beyond what they saw as their lack of privilege of marginalized people, CRC believed they were more at stake organizing for their freedom. We also often find it difficult to separate race from class from sex oppression because in our lives they are most often experienced simultaneously.

The Combahee River Collective Statement

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 upon them and their communities in both dramatic and subtle ways. We realize that the only people who care enough about us to combahef consistently for our liberation are us.

We just wanted to see what we had. 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.

When we first started meeting early in after the NBFO first eastern regional conference, we did not have a strategy for organizing, or even a focus. The Collective states its basis and active goals as “committed to struggling against racial, sexual, heterosexual and class oppression” and describe their particular task as the “development of integrated analysis and practice based upon the comvahee that the major systems of oppression are interlocking.

We are socialists because we believe that work must be organized for the collective benefit of those who do the work and create the products, and not for the profit of the bosses. Both are essential to the development of any life. As Black feminists and Lesbians we know that we have a very definite revolutionary task to perform and we are ready for the lifetime of work and struggle before sratement.

We know that there is such a thing as racial-sexual oppression which is neither solely racial nor solely sexual, e. 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.

The synthesis of these oppressions creates the conditions of our lives. We believe that the most profound and potentially most radical politics come directly out of our own identity, as opposed to working to end somebody else’s oppression. Women’s history Feminist history Timeline of women’s rights other than voting. Its purpose was to assess the state of the movement, to share information about the participants’ political work, and to talk about possibilities and issues for organizing Black women.


It leaves out far too much and far too many people, particularly Black men, women, and children. The Challenge of Black Lesbian Organizing”, which borrows its title from Frazier’s statement, Barbara Smith describes the 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.

The inclusiveness of our politics makes us concerned with any situation that impinges upon the lives of women, Third World and working people. 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.

Here is the way male and female roles were collecitve in a Black nationalist pamphlet from the early s:. How We Get Free: The most general statement of our politics at the present time would be that we are collectivf 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 work to be done and the countless issues that this work represents merely reflect the pervasiveness of our oppression.

The Combahee River Collective Statement

Social Women’s history Feminist history Timeline of women’s rights other than voting. Women of Color Press, Inc. Issues surrounding organizing around black feminism are rooted in the lack of power and privilege black females have. The fact that individual Black feminists are living in isolation all over the country, that our own numbers are small, and that we have some skills in writing, printing, and publishing makes us want to carry out these kinds of projects as a means of organizing Black feminists as we continue to do political work in coalition with other groups.

During our years together as a Black feminist collective we have experienced success and defeat, joy and pain, victory and failure. Interview with Susan Goodwillie.