March 24, 2011

>Women's History Month Heroes: Barbara Smith

>GLSEN is proud to honor Women's History Month by celebrating contributions of women to the LGBT and safe schools movements. Throughout March we will be recognizing heroes who have made significant contributions to the LGBT and safe schools movements. Click here for more information, and keep reading all month long for new additions!


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Barbara Smith (b. 1946) is a lesbian feminist and has done much to shape modern Black feminist thought. In 1975 Barbara reorganized the Boston chapter of the National Black Feminist Organization to form the Combahee River Collective. The Combahee River Collective was a socialist Black feminist organization that emphasized the intersectionality of racial, gender, heterosexist, and class oppression in the lives of Blacks and other women of color. Barbara and the Combahee River Collective have been credited with coining the term identity politics, which they defined as “a politics that grew out of our objective material experiences as Black women.” Barbara felt the need for women of color to have their own autonomous publishing resource and in 1980, along with Audre Lorde and Cherríe Moraga, she co-founded Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press, which published the notable This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color. Barbara is currently in her second term as a member of the city council of Albany, NY.

For more, check out these sources:

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We want to know who your heroes are! If you know a woman who has contributed to the LGBT and safe schools movement, post about them on the Gay-Straight Alliances Facebook page. You can also tweet your heroes to @DayofSilence using the #GLSENWHM hash tag!

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