40th anniversary of the publication of the Combahee River Collective Statement
Socialism 2017 is excited to announce “How We Get Free,” a panel discussion commemorating the 40th anniversary of the publication of the Combahee River Collective Statement. Panelists will include Barbara Smith and Demita Frazier, two of the three authors of the original document, as well as activists Alicia Garza, Barbara Ransby, Sharon Smith and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, who will discuss the impact of the statement on the struggles of today.
The Combahee River Collective, a revolutionary group of radical Black feminists, was one of the most important organizations to develop out of movements of the 1960s and ’70s. The group published the Combahee River Collective Statement in 1977, which was one of the earliest explorations of the intersection of multiple oppressions, including racism and sexism.
Demita Frazier, Beverly Smith, and Barbara Smith were the primary authors of the Combahee River Collective Statement. They theorized the concept of multiple oppressions, critiquing both sexual oppression in the Black community and racism within the wider feminist movement. They sought to destroy what they felt were the related evils of capitalism, imperialism, and patriarchy.
From left: Demita Frazier, Alicia Garza, Barbara Smith, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Barbara Ransby, Sharon Smith