Coalitions for Women’s Safety, Racial Justice, and the Right to the City
Chapter 4 examines black feminist–led antiviolence organizing in Boston and Washington, D.C. In these highly segregated cities, black feminist organizations led coalitions that crossed lines of race, class, gender, sexuality, and neighborhood. In Boston, the Combahee River Collective, composed of black lesbian socialist feminists, helped to forge a multiracial, multigendered Coalition for Women’s Safety. In Washington, black women at the D.C. Rape Crisis Center organized the first national gathering of U.S. Third World feminist antiviolence activists, built an alliance with Prisoners Against Rape, and shaped the antiracist principles of D.C.’s first “Take Back the Night” marches. These intersectional coalitions reoriented discourses of violence against women toward a critique of state harm and alternatives to criminal justice.
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