Women, Race and Class by Angela Davis has been on my list for a few years. I’d heard the name Angela Davis before, but it wasn’t until Ava DuVernay’s Netflix documentary 13th that I gained better context as to the living legend that she truly is.
As someone who believes in the pursuit of equal rights and social justice, and that we’ve been failing at both for a long time, I also know that my part in that includes continuing my education. As a privileged white female my pursuit of equality and justice comes much more easily than it does to most. But as it’s said, “until we are all free, we are none of us free” (Emma Lazarus). To achieve these goals reading a book won’t do the job. But book after book, and year after year, if we can strive to know more and do more with what we know maybe we’ll get a little bit closer in this lifetime. Don’t you think?
Angela Davis has been a memorable part of my continuing education, and she should be a part of yours. The gaps in the cause for women’s equality are numerous and deeply rooted in history. If you’re ever curious about what people are talking about when they say intersectional feminism, or refer to the suffrage movement as a perpetuation of racism, read this book. The book is organized chronologically starting with the legacy of slavery and ending with a working-class perspective contemporary to the book in the early 1980’s.
This book felt much like a textbook in its wealth of well-cited information, but not at all like a textbook in its passion. I love how much this book taught me, and I love how much Davis told these stories in the words of the women who lived them. To her credit, each chapter has numerous quotes from the women who experienced the full range of issues Davis examines in Women, Race and Class.
If I haven’t convinced you already, I really hope you’ll read this book. It could be read in bits and pieces, a chapter here and a chapter there. But what you really need to know is that, in my opinion, this is a classic power-house of women’s history that’s not to be missed.