Discussing the Combahee River Collective Statement

I’m sitting in the Norman Manley International Airport, after a series of great meetings and with lots more great work to do with partners in the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC). I’m joyous with the great work I get to be part of with the dLOC community. I’m also joyous for the work I get to be part of with different community groups in Gainesville, Florida, where there is no international airport (although students from major cities often auto-add in the word international to the name). On Monday, I’m part of a group that is discussing the Combahee River Collective Statement. From Wikipedia:

The Combahee River Collective was a black feminist lesbian organization active in Boston from 1974 to 1980.[1][2] The Collective was instrumental in highlighting that the white feminist movement was not addressing their particular needs.[3] They are perhaps best known for developing the Combahee River Collective Statement,[4] a key document in the history of contemporary black feminism and the development of the concepts of identity as used among political organizers and social theorists.
According to author and academic Angela Davis, this analysis drew on earlier Black Marxist and Black Nationalist movements, and was anti-racist and anti-capitalist in nature.

I get to lead the discussion of this article. I selected this article because it is the best primer for my understanding of feminism and socialism. The article provides: important historical context, important context for now for how we understand identity politics (as it connects us for shared struggle, or how it can be wielded against us to divide people into factions), and how we understand interlocking oppressions and intersectionality. Importantly, the article also covers critically necessary concepts for how we work: situated perspective, grounded theory, non-reductive, inclusive, in solidarity.

The Combahee River Collective Statement is available online. I’m looking forward to discussing it locally on Monday. I look forward to more opportunities to discuss work that informs our world and ways of being in the world.