Ep. 43: Yours in Struggle (w/ Barbara Smith)

Feb. 4, 2020

Ep. 43: Yours in Struggle (w/ Barbara Smith)

Is there any term more vilified on the right than "identity politics"? Supposedly, "IDpol" is all about creating hierarchies of oppression, and the lower down the ranks you fall, the less value your voice has.

On this episode, Briahna talks to Barbara Smith, who as part of the Combahee River Collective - a radical, black, feminist organization based in Boston - coined the term in the late 1970s. Barbara explains that, far from excluding people, her group meant to include everyone in a common struggle for liberation by recognizing the unique challenges that different groups face. "If Black women were free, it would mean that everyone else would have to be free since our freedom would necessitate the destruction of all the systems of oppression," the group wrote.

Smith recently endorsed Bernie for president, saying that our campaign and movement carries on the structural, intersectional politics for which she has fought all her life.

Barbara Smith is an author, activist, independent scholar, and Nobel Peace Prize nominee. She lives in Albany.

Barbara Smith on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheBarbaraSmith