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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The Combahee River Collective was a black feminist lesbian organization active in Boston from to 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. This page was last edited on 20 Decemberat 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.

There was no refuge in Boston at that time. The post World War II generation of Black youth was the first to be able to minimally partake of certain educational and employment options, previously closed completely to Black people. We reject pedestals, queenhood, and walking ten paces behind. In this section we will discuss some of the general reasons for the organizing problems we face and also talk specifically about the stages in organizing our own collective.

A Biography of Audre LordeW. 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. A Promise and a Way of Life: The sanctions In the Black and white communities against Black collechive thinkers is comparatively much higher than for white women, particularly ones from the educated middle and upper classes.

Combahee River Collective – Wikipedia

We understand that it is and has been traditional that the man is the head of the house. It was our experience and disillusionment within these liberation movements, as well as experience on the periphery of the white male left, that led to the need to develop a politics that was anti-racist, unlike those of white women, and anti-sexist, unlike those of Black and white men. There is a very low value placed upon Black women’s psyches in this society, which is both racist and sexist.


The group saw “Black feminism as the logical political movement to combat the manifold and simultaneous oppressions that all women of color face HarperIda B.

Merely naming the pejorative stereotypes attributed to Black women e. Interview with Susan Goodwillie. Although we are in essential agreement with Marx’s theory as it applied to the very specific economic relationships he analyzed, we know that his analysis must be extended further in order for us to understand our specific economic situation as Black women.

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The Combahee River Collective Statement

A Black feminist presence has evolved most obviously in connection with the second wave of the American women’s movement beginning in the late s. Black women’s extremely negative relationship to the American political combahew a system of white male rule has always been determined by our membership in two oppressed racial and sexual castes. Black, other Third World, and working women have been involved in the feminist movement from its start, but both outside reactionary forces and racism and elitism within the movement itself have served to obscure our participation.

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.

Smith developed these ideas stateemnt 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. 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.

The material conditions of most Black women would hardly lead them to upset both economic and sexual arrangements that seem to represent some stability in their lives. Interview with Barbara Smith.

The Combahee River Collective Statement

As children we realized that we were different from boys and that we were treated differently. The Combahee River Collective Statement is referred to as “among the most compelling documents produced by black feminists”, [6] and Harriet Sigerman, author of The Columbia Documentary History of American Women Since calls the solutions which the statement proposes to societal problems such as racial and sexual discrimination, homophobia and classist politics “multifaceted and interconnected.


We began functioning as a study group and also began discussing the possibility of starting a Black feminist publication. Collective members and contributors include:.

Issues surrounding organizing rive black feminism are rooted in the lack of power and privilege black females have. Accusations that Black feminism divides the Black struggle are powerful deterrents to the growth of an autonomous Black women’s movement.

As black women, the Collective argued that they experience oppression based on race, gender, and class. Still, hundreds of women have been active at different times during the three-year existence combayee our 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.

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. 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.

Part of a series on. Gates Gill v.

Combahee River Collective

In a interview with Susan Goodwillie, Smith noted that this action moved the group out into the wider Boston community. As feminists combqhee do not want to mess over people in the name of politics. In this final section of the CRC statement, they argued that black feminism should not only address their concerns as black females, but should also address policy issues in the lives of other women, the Third World, and working people.

The Collective’s name was suggested by Smith, who owned a book called: University of Minnesota Press.