With the 2018 midterm elections underway, five women representing Latinx, Muslim, and Black communities across America fight to get their initiatives heard by voters. And She Could Be Next documents these women on the campaign trail across their home states of Georgia, Texas, Michigan, California, and Illinois as they overcome obstacles and celebrate victories along the way.
Abrams, Stacey. Lead From the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change. New York: Picador, 2019.
Offers guidance for people who live outside of traditionally powerful social groups to pursue leadership and success by recognizing their own passion and pursuing it with the special perspective, tools, and strengths that come from being on the outside.
Anzaldúa, Gloria. Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza. 4th ed. San Francisco: Aunt Lute, 2012.
Rooted in Gloria Anzaldúa’s experience as a Chicana, a lesbian, an activist, and a writer, the essays and poems in this volume profoundly challenged, and continue to challenge, how we think about identity. Borderlands/La Frontera remaps our understanding of what a “border” is, presenting it not as a simple divide between here and there, us and them, but as a psychic, social, and cultural terrain that we inhabit, and that inhabits all of us.
Black, Kate and June Diane Raphael. Represent: The Woman’s Guide to Running for Office & Changing the World. New York: Workman, 2019.
A comprehensive, lively, interactive woman's guide to running for office that comes with a sense of humor and of style. Practical, how-to text is combined with elements of a workbook/planner to inspire potential female candidates, whether they're running for office on the local, state, or national level (from school board to senator).
Brazile, Donna, Yolanda Caraway, Leah Daughtry, and Minyon Moore with Veronica Chambers. For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics. New York: Picador, 2019.
A look at American history through the eyes of four women who have lived and worked behind the scenes in American politics for over thirty years–Donna Brazile, Yolanda Caraway, Leah Daughtry, and Minyon Moore–a group of women who call themselves the Colored Girls. Like many people who have spent their careers in public service, they view their lives in four-year waves of campaigns and elections. The Colored Girls have worked on the presidential campaigns of Jesse Jackson, Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Barack Obama, and Hillary Rodham Clinton. In between elections, they worked at the top of the corporate world, in unions, in churches, in their own businesses, and with people outside the Oval Office who have shaped our country's history, including Howard Dean, Reverend Herbert Daughtry, Coretta Scott King, Betty Shabazz, and Terry McAuliffe. [This book] is a contemporary history of America told through the voices of women of color whose lives and contributions have heretofore been unknown. It's a portrait of four women who are always focused on the larger goal of, as they put it, "hurrying history" so that every American–regardless of race, gender, or religious background–can have a seat at the table. The Colored Girls. Their lives are part of our history. Their voices point to our future."
Brown, Nadia E. and Gershoon, Sarah Allen. Distinct Identities: Minority Women in U.S. Politics. New York, NY: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2016.
Minority women in the United States draw from their unique personal experiences, born of their identities, to impact American politics. Whether as political elites or as average citizens, minority women demonstrate that they have a unique voice that more often than not centers on their visions of justice, equality, and fairness.
Carruthers, Charlene. Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements. Beacon, 2019.
Drawing on Black intellectual and grassroots organizing traditions, including the Haitian Revolution, the US civil rights movement, and LGBTQ rights and feminist movements, Unapologetic challenges all of us engaged in the social justice struggle to make the movement for Black liberation more radical, more queer, and more feminist. This book provides a vision for how social justice movements can become sharper and more effective through principled struggle, healing justice, and leadership development.
Chisholm, Shirley. Unbought and Unbossed: Expanded 40th Anniversary Edition. Take Root Media, 2010.
Unbought and Unbossed is Shirley Chisholm’s account of her remarkable rise from young girl in Brooklyn to America’s first African-American Congresswoman. She shares how she took on an entrenched system, gave a public voice to millions, and sets the stage for her trailblazing bid to be the first woman and first African-American President of the United States. By daring to be herself, Shirley Chisholm shows us how she forever changed the status quo.
Crenshaw, Kimberlé. “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Color.” Stanford Law Review, 43, no. 6 (1991): 1241-1299.
“Although racism and sexism readily intersect in the lives of real people, they seldom do in feminist and antiracist practices. And so, when the practices expound identity as woman or person of color as an either/or proposition, they relegate the identity of women of color to a location that resists telling. My objective in this article is to advance the telling of that location by exploring the race and gender dimensions of violence against women of color. Contemporary feminist and antiracist discourses have failed to consider intersectional identities such as women of color. Focusing on two dimensions of male violence against women–battering and rape–I consider how the experiences of women of color are frequently the product of intersecting patterns of racism and sexism, and how these experiences tend not to be represented within the discourses of either feminism or antiracism. Because of their intersectional identity as both women and of color within discourses that are shaped to respond to one or the other, women of color are marginalized within both. I explore the various ways in which race and gender intersect in shaping structural, political, and representational aspects of violence against women of color. The chapter ends with a reflective comment.”
Farmer, Ashley D. Remaking Black Power: How Black Women Transformed an Era. UNC Press, 2017.
In this comprehensive history, Ashley D. Farmer examines black women’s political, social, and cultural engagement with Black Power ideals and organizations. Complicating the assumption that sexism relegated black women to the margins of the movement, Farmer demonstrates how female activists fought for more inclusive understandings of Black Power and social justice by developing new ideas about black womanhood.
Glaude, Eddie S., Jr. Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul. New York: Crown, 2016, 2017.
Part manifesto, part history, part memoir, [Democracy in Black] argues that we live in a country founded on a “value gap”—with white lives valued more than others—that still distorts our politics today. Whether discussing why all Americans have racial habits that reinforce inequality, why black politics based on the civil-rights era have reached a dead end, or why only remaking democracy from the ground up can bring real change, Glaude crystallizes the untenable position of black America–and offers thoughts on a better way forward.
Harris, Tamara Winfrey. The Sisters Are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative of Black Women in America. Oakland: Berrett-Koehler, 2015.
When African women arrived on American shores, the three-headed hydra—servile Mammy, angry Sapphire, and lascivious Jezebel—followed close behind. In the ’60s, the Matriarch, the willfully unmarried baby machine leeching off the state, joined them. These stereotypes persist to this day through newspaper headlines, Sunday sermons, social media memes, cable punditry, government policies, and hit song lyrics. Emancipation may have happened more than 150 years ago, but America still won’t let a sister be free from this coven of caricatures. Tamara Winfrey Harris delves into marriage, motherhood, health, sexuality, beauty, and more, taking sharp aim at pervasive stereotypes about black women. She counters warped prejudices with the straight-up truth about being a black woman in America. “We have facets like diamonds,” she writes. “The trouble is the people who refuse to see us sparkling.”
López, Ian Haney. Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class. New York: Oxford U Press, 2014.
Describes how conservatives in government are using race-baiting to coax the middle class with promises of curbing crime, stopping undocumented immigration and even halting Islamic infiltration into voting for right-wing policies that ultimately hurt them and favor the rich.
Muñoz, Cecilia. More Than Ready: Be Strong and Be You, and Other Lessons for Women of Color on the Rise. New York: Seal, 2020.
Women of color are experiencing an unprecedented wave of 'firsts'–whether it's the first in a family to attend college, the first to serve as CEO of a Fortune 500 company, or the first to serve in Congress for a red state, women of color have reached new heights of influence. Cecilia Muñoz was a first, too, and she knows the difficulties of making her way without exemplars to follow. The first Latinx to direct national domestic policy issues, More than Enough draws lessons from the challenges she faced and the victories she achieved as a woman of color in the White House. She shares her experiences in the Obama administration as an offering of inspiration to others–Latinas and other women of color–who are no longer willing to be invisible, or left behind. She provides tactical techniques for getting ahead as a person of color in a white-dominated arena, such as: Keep your elbows sharp: Hold your ground when others seek to devalue your contribution: Defend kindness: Elevate empathy in the workplace and beyond Leverage failure: Turn losses into gains by embracing the benefits of the experience. Full of invaluable lessons about working through fear, overcoming racial injustices, and facing down detractors, Muñoz provides the thoughtful insight and tactical tools women of color need to reach unprecedented levels of power and success–without compromising who they are.
Moraga, Cherríe and Gloria Anzaldúa, eds. This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color. 4th ed. New York: State University of New York Press, 1981.
Through personal essays, criticism, interviews, testimonials, poetry, and visual art, the collection explores, as coeditor Cherríe Moraga writes, "the complex confluence of identities–race, class, gender, and sexuality–systemic to women of color oppression and liberation." Reissued here, nearly thirty-five years after its inception, the fourth edition contains an extensive new introduction by Moraga, along with a previously unpublished statement by Gloria Anzaldúa.
Obama, Michelle. Becoming. New York: Crown, 2018.
In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms.
Shakur, Assata. Assata: An Autobiography. Chicago: Chicago Review, Lawrence Hill, 1988.
This intensely personal and political autobiography belies the fearsome image of JoAnne Chesimard long projected by the media and the state. With wit and candor, Assata Shakur recounts the experiences that led her to a life of activism and portrays the strengths, weaknesses, and eventual demise of Black and White revolutionary groups at the hand of government officials. The result is a signal contribution to the literature about growing up Black in America that has already taken its place alongside The Autobiography of Malcolm X and the works of Maya Angelou.