Category Archives: News

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The historic roots of Charleston’s Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church has been mentioned quite a bit over the last few days given the tragedy that happen there. The deep roots of the church have also been mentioned quite a bit, but not much have been said about Denmark Vesey, one the founding members of the historic church as well as the slave rebellion(s) that happen in South Carolina. Vesey rebellion, if carried out, would of been one of the largest seen in North America. This rebellion would follow in the footsteps of one of the most famous rebellions in North America history, the Stono Rebellion. Below is a quick history of Denmark Vesey and the Stono Rebellion.

Denmark Vesey

Vesey, who was free through  purchasing his freedom from a lottery winning  was a skilled carpenter. Vesey was sold into slavery at 14, however during this time learned French, Spanish and English. Vesey married an enslaved woman and started a family. However his children were seen as slaves since slavery was “linked” to the mother under the principle of partus sequitur ventrem. It was said that Vesey was planning to liberate slaves in the surrounding area of Charleston and sail to what was then the free black republic of Haiti. However, before the revolt could happen, two slaves told the plans to their slave owners. Vesey and several of his followers were quickly rounded up, put on trial and hanged for their involvement in the planning of the rebellion. In total, 67 men were convicted of planning the rebellion, 35 were hung, 31 were deported.


In 1820, South Carolina passed another group of laws to further restrict blacks, who at the time outnumber whites in the state. Slaves could no longer purchase their freedom, if free blacks left the state they could no longer come back into the state, and free blacks in the state needed “white guardians” to vouch that they were really “free”. In 1822, South Carolina also passed the Seaman’s act of 1822, which captured free black sailors who docked in Charleston and held them in jail until their ship was ready to leave.

Stono Rebellion

Starting on Sept. 9 1739, in at the time, the colony of South Carolina was the largest slave uprising in the British colonies as the end of it, 22 whites and 44 black died in the rebellion (Nat Turner Rebellion in 1831 ended up being a slightly larger rebellion).


Factors that lead up to the rebellion

Because of the rapid expansion of cotton and rice, slave imports to South Carolina were at an all time high. In addition because of the ongoing tension between the British and the Spanish, the Spanish promise freedom and a piece of land to any escaped slaves that made it to Spanish Florida.  Jemmy one of the leaders of the rebellion was thought to be of congolese descent, and might of had a military background.


Stono and the Aftermath

On the Sept 10th the group of slaves seized weapons and ammunition from two white local shop owner and started to make their way to Spanish Florida. On route the recruited more slaves, ending up with a group as large as 80 people in some reports. As they traveled they burned several plantations and killed dozens of slave owners. The slaves were found out by a white onlooker, Lieutenant Governor William Bull  who went back to gather the militia and stage a defense against the rebels. The next day the militia confronted the rebellion and ended up killing many of the slaves. However, the slaves did not go down without a fight, killing some of the white militia. Several of the slaves got away but were later found several miles away and killed. As a warning to other slaves, the colonist decapitated the slaves and put their heads on a stakes that lined major roadways in South Carolina. In addition, they passed the Negro Act of 1740 which required a ratio of one white to ten blacks on any plantation, prohibited slaves from growing their own food, assembling in groups, outlawed drumming, earning money, or learning to read and empowered whites to make decisions about any blacks who were traveling outside a plantation without passes to take action/kill them. South Carolina also banned slave trade from the Congo for 10 years, believing that children born into slavery were easier to manage than newly arrived Africans.

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Bills Black Women for Wellness is Sponsoring

AB 775
AB 775, the Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care and Transparency (FACT) Act, requires licensed facilities that provide family planning and pregnancy-related services to inform patients about available assistance for affordable contraception, abortion, and prenatal care, including how to obtain that assistance. Facilities that offer similar services but do not have a medical license must disclose that they are not licensed facilities and do not have a licensed provider on staff. The bill is sponsored by NARAL Pro-Choice California and Black Women for Wellness.

Bills Black Women for Wellness Actively Supports

SB 23- Maximum Family Grant
We support Senate Bill 23, to prevent the harmful health and human development consequences of denying services to infants and to restore reproductive privacy to CalWORKs families.

SB 407 – Midwives
SB 407 (Morrell) will add licensed midwives to the list of healthcare providers in the Comprehensive Perinatal Services Program (CPSP) which provides enhanced prenatal care services to pregnant Medi-Cal recipients.

AB 492 – Diaper Bill CalWorks
Assembly Bill 492 provides a diaper supplement for families receiving subsidized childcare through CalWORKs

AB 392 – Sex Ed Bill
The California Healthy Youth Act, which would update, strengthen and integrate the existing statutes relating to HIV prevention and comprehensive sexual health education, thereby providing clearer guidance to school districts and better support to both teachers and students.

Among the specific provisions updated or added to the bill, AB 329 will:

● Update and broaden the existing HIV mandate to reflect today’s understanding of HIV and to increase the instruction’s impact on reducing HIV, other sexually transmitted infections, and unintended pregnancy. Comprehensive sexual health and HIV prevention education has been shown to be effective in both delaying sexual activity and increasing condom and contraceptive use among youth who are already sexually active.

● Require instruction and materials that are inclusive of students of all sexual orientations and genders.

● Include new sexual education content that relates to adolescent relationship abuse, sexual harassment, and sex trafficking and will reinforce a focus on healthy attitudes, healthy behaviors, and healthy relationships.

AB 717- Diaper Bill – Tax
would provide up to approximately $100 per year in sales tax relief per diaper-aged child, which is equivalent to one month’s worth of diaper expenses for that child through removing the sales tax on diapers

Bills Black Women for Wellness Supports

SB 548 – Raising California – Childcare
SB 548, the Raising Child Care Quality and Accessibility Act. Black Women for Wellness strongly believes we must take bold steps to help alleviate income inequality in California which disproportionately burdens women and children. SB 548 helps address these concerns

AB 302 – Lactation
Would specify that high schools with one or more lactating students shall provide these students with access to a private, secure room to deal with any needs associated with breastfeeding or expressing milk. AB 302 would also require schools to allow lactating students to bring a breast pump to school and store expressed milk, and it would require schools to provide these students with reasonable break time or time away from the classroom to accommodate their lactation schedule.

AB 1306 Midwives
Nurse-midwives will continue to practice in collaboration with physicians, but without the barriers imposed by supervisory language. The BRN will receive support on regulatory issues impacting CNMs via a nurse-midwifery advisory council. Home birth and birth center CNMs will have access to medications and resources necessary for safe care. Clarify the inclusion of the home as a location for CNM services. All newly licensed CNMs will have national AMCB certification, in line with national standards.

Bills Black Women for Wellness Opposes

AB 46 – Oppose (letter sent)
AB 46, a bill that seeks to address sexual assault, but instead may have unintended consequences for survivors of sexual assault and further harm them. Specifically, AB 46 seeks to increase the penalties for possession of gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), ketamine, and flunitrazepam (also known as rohypnol). While well intentioned, AB 46 appears to be premised on incorrect information

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Photo for Black Women for Wellness Annual Reproductive Health Conference

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Proposal Checklist:

o All sections of form have been completed (incomplete forms will not be considered).
o AV needs have been specified (BWW will not honor late requests).
o Resumes (preferred) or CV’s for each presenter who is over the age of 18 are attached.

Please Note:
• Additional presenters who are not specified on this form will not be included in the preliminary conference brochure.
• All sessions will be arranged theater style, unless otherwise requested.
• No identifying information such as letterhead with presenter/agency names and affiliations or locations should be included in the proposal description section of the Application Form.
• All workshop proposals must be sent via email to Krissy at with the Subject: BWW Conference Workshop Proposal 2015 by Friday, July 31st at 5pm.
• Conference information and registration form can be found at
• Email questions to or call 323.290.5955

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Reproductive Justice Conference Flyer October 2015

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ABSTRACTS DUE: July 31, 2015 at 5pm

Click here to complete the abstract submission online


Download PDF Speaking Truth to Power Abstract (right-click and “save as”) and upload your completed abstract below.

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When: Thursday, October 1, 2015, 8:30 am – 5 pm

Location: The California Endowment
1000 N. Alameda
Los Angeles, CA 90017

Who: Women & Girls, Boys & Men, Social Justice Activists, Health Care Professionals, Community Leaders, Researchers, Health Educators, Media, Government Workers, Educators, Advocates, Leaders & Workers

About: Black Women & Girls Reproductive Health Status and the Reproductive Justice Movement

Reproductive Justice addresses the environmental, social, economic and political inequalities that affect our reproductive destiny, reproductive health decision-making and the environments in which we live in. Reproductive Justice is a term coined by Black Women and Women of Color during the 1990s.

Conference Purpose

Each year Black Women for Wellness (BWW) holds an annual conference to provide an open forum and space to highlight the health status of Black women and girls. Black women find themselves at the intersection of race, gender and sexuality far too often where it feels that we must talk about one issue over the other without acknowledging the multiple realities and identities which we live and experience. Often times we may find ourselves being silent or our stories being untold. Silence can have a direct impact on our health, relationships, well-being, experience and the environments we live in. That is why this year we want to focus on how to speak truth to power, how to end silences, take up space and be heard because Black Women Matter! BWW’s focus continues to be on how to transform silence into action, framed in a reproductive justice conversation and discussion.

Who Should Submit
All community advocates, organizers, health care professionals, health educators, administrators, researchers, policy makers, elected officials and their staffs are invited to attend and share the work that you are doing to promote the health and well being of Black women and girls toward achieving reproductive justice in our community.

Session Guidelines
Black Women for Wellness is seeking conference presenters to lead a workshop or participate on a panel that discusses themes on ending silences and building skills to speak truth to power.

Sessions will be presented within the following focus areas:

  • History / Health Status
    Presenters will provide information on the reproductive history of the Black women’s experience in the US or other countries of the African Diaspora. Presenters may also present on current research that highlights the factors affecting the reproductive health status of Black women in the U.S or other countries of the African Diaspora. Sample topics could include:

    • Social, cultural and/or historical perspective on the Black Women’s Reproductive experience
    • Intersection of Black men and boys and the health of women.
    • Myth of the Strong Black Women – mental health status of Black women
    • How does Silence Affect our Health
    • Dismantling the Welfare Queen – Intersection of Economics and Reproductive Justice
    • Examining How Patriarchy Silences Violence Against Black Women
  • Policy / Advocacy / Community Organizing
    Presenters will provide conference participants with a description of what advocacy and community organizing is, provide tangible tools and/or strategies for how an individual and/or community advocates for their rights. Presenters are encouraged to provide an interactive workshop to assist participants in building advocacy and movement building skills.

    • Policy / Advocacy 101
    • New Tools in Community Organizing
    • How To: Oppositional Research, Political Mapping, Campaign Development
    • Where Our Bodies Lie? = Status of Reproductive Health and Rights, Propositions in California / Nation – how this impacts the life of our community
  • Community Building / Redefining Sisterhood
    Training workshops that provide insight on how to create safe spaces for all members of our community. How do we build bridges and strengthen our idea of sisterhood to one that is fully inclusive especially with creating movements that highlight the multiple identities of Black girls and women?

    • Black and Trans: Our Experience, Our Health Matters
    • What does Gender Equity Really Look Like for the Black Woman
    • LGBTQA Ally Building within the Black Community
    • Intersections of Race, Gender and Sexuality – Learning How to Take Up Space and Speak Truth to Our Multi-Identity Existence
    • Men in the RJ Movement (How to Get All Genders Involved in the RJ movement, Building Allies)
    • How to Express Your Authentic Self
    • Building Bridges Within the Community: Churches and the Reproductive Justice Movement
  • Reproductive and Sexual Health, Rights and Justice
    Presenters are encouraged to propose a workshop, which relates to Black women’s reproductive health, justice, access to resources and advocacy. Possible topics include, but not limited to:

    • Environmental health, rights and justice and its intersection with reproductive health
    • How economics/job markets impact women’s decision making around reproductive health
    • Reproductive health technology
    • Spirituality and reproductive choices
    • Sexually Transmitted Infections – how they are affecting our community, impacts of super gonorrhea, what the numbers of STIs reflect on the status of sex education, health/unhealthy relationships.
    • Birth control alternatives – no hormones / new reproductive technologies
    • Sexual Identity – being assertive and finding pleasure, consensual sexual experiences

Abstracts will be reviewed and scored based on:

  1. Relevance to the goal of the conference (see Conference Purpose for full description)
  2. Organization and clarity – minimize jargon.
  3. Description of objectives, content and teaching methodologies to the educational needs of participants.
  4. Special consideration will be given to abstracts that provide experiential skill building opportunities for conference participants.

Proposal Checklist:

  • All sections of form have been completed (incomplete forms will not be considered).
  • AV needs have been specified (BWW will not honor late requests).
  • Resumes (preferred) or CV’s for each presenter who is over the age of 18 are attached.

Please Note:

  • Additional presenters who are not specified on this form will not be included in the preliminary conference brochure.
  • All sessions will be arranged theater style, unless otherwise requested.
  • No identifying information such as letterhead with presenter/agency names and affiliations or locations should be included in the proposal description section of the Application Form.
  • All workshop proposals must be sent via email to Krissy at with the Subject: BWW Conference Workshop Proposal 2015 by Friday, July 31st at 5pm.
  • Conference information and registration form can be found at
  • Email questions to or call 323.290.5955

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Black Women for Wellness Bring a Brother to Breakfast June 2015

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Join Black Women for Wellness for our annual Bring a Brother to Breakfast. Each year BWW uses Bring a Brother to Breakfast to honor Black men in our community that have been doing work to uplift black women and girls and their families. In addition, we also create the space to talk about issues that impact black men and boys in our community.

This year’s Bring a Brother to Breakfast will be held:
Friday, June 12, 2015
8:30 am to 11:30 am
Department of Water and Power
4030 Crenshaw Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA

Members can nominate a brother for the Amsted Award, which is a Member Nominated Award acknowledging the brother(s) who’s work and/or contributions celebrate, help, support and make things happen in the African American community for Black women & girls.


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Banner Image Displaying Info on Bill AB 775

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Assemblymembers David Chiu (D-San Francisco) and Autumn Burke (D-Los Angeles) introduced AB 775, a bill that helps ensure women receive prompt access to affordable, comprehensive reproductive-health care and are empowered to make fully informed decisions.

Click here to show your support for AB 775

AB 775, the Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care and Transparency (FACT) Act, requires licensed facilities that provide family planning and pregnancy-related services to inform patients about available assistance for affordable contraception, abortion, and prenatal care, including how to obtain that assistance. Facilities that offer similar services but do not have a medical license must disclose that they are not licensed facilities and do not have a licensed provider on staff. The bill is sponsored by NARAL Pro-Choice California and Black Women for Wellness.

“California has a proud legacy of providing safe access to preventative, prenatal and reproductive services to all women,” said Assemblymember Chiu. “Unfortunately, a growing and alarming movement is working to mislead women in order to achieve their political ideology. We have a responsibility as lawmakers to make sure that the information given to women who are making their own healthcare decisions is accurate and timely.”

“All women in California have the right to take charge of their own reproductive health care, and they deserve full access to all of their options,” said Assemblywoman Autumn R. Burke. “AB 775 helps us uphold those hard-won rights and holds all licensed facilities accountable for providing quality care.”

“California has always been a leader in passing policies to ensure full reproductive health access to women,” said Janette Robinson Flint, PhD, Executive Director of Black Women for Wellness. “And while that is hugely important, I know we can do more to ensure that all women are able to exercise full reproductive autonomy. The Reproductive FACT act is a piece of legislation that takes us one step closer to full reproductive freedom. By ensuring women not only have access to reproductive health information free from coercion, and informing women of the full range of choices available to live healthy full lives regardless of, race, income or geographic location, we continue to actualize the ideas of reproductive justice.”

“We can all agree that women should have complete and accurate information when making time-sensitive decisions about their reproductive health,” said Amy Everitt, State Director for NARAL Pro-Choice California. “AB 775 makes sure anyone who seeks care at a clinic in California walks away knowing that the state will help her access affordable health care.”

AB 775 also helps address the public health threat posed by anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs). NARAL Pro-Choice California conducted a year-long undercover investigation of CPCs, revealing a disturbing pattern of medical misinformation and manipulation of women. The results of the investigation can be found at

“CPCs target women seeking abortion care with false advertising that misleads women into thinking they are comprehensive women’s health facilities. Instead, CPC workers are trained to lie to women to keep them from accessing contraception and abortion care. It’s time for California to take a stand against their deceptive practices, and AB 775 is an important step in fighting their campaign of misinformation.”

In February, a federal judge upheld a San Francisco ordinance prohibiting misleading advertising by crisis pregnancy centers, sponsored by Supervisor Malia Cohen. “CPCs have been an issue even in a progressive city like San Francisco,” said Supervisor Cohen. “That is why we took action locally to regulate their deceptive advertising practices. All women deserve to know the truth about their reproductive health care choices and I am proud to see that our local legislation helped lay the groundwork for ensuring women in California have access to truthful and complete information about their pregnancies.”

The Reproductive FACT Act is supported by ACT for Women and Girls, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists-District IX, American Nurses Association/California, California Association for Nurse Practitioners, California Church IMPACT, California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, California Primary Care Association, California Women Lawyers, California Women’s Law Center, Forward Together, Fresno Barrios Unidos, League of Women Voters of California, Maternal and Child Health Access, Nevada County Citizens for Choice, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, National Abortion Federation, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, National Council of Jewish Women-California, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Western Methodist Justice Movement, Women’s Community Clinic and Women’s Health Specialists.

AB 775 will be heard in the Assembly Committee on Health on Tuesday, April 14th.

Click here to show your support for AB 775

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Over 3.5 million Californians have enrolled in new coverage options since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, yet persistent health disparities remain among communities of color, immigrants, and Limited English Proficient populations. Join CPEHN and our partners for Focus on Equity: Communities of Color in a Post-ACA California, as we highlight opportunities to advance equity in 2015 and beyond. Topics will include:

* Health for All
* Integration of behavioral health in primary care
* The importance of equity in measuring the quality of health care

The convening will provide participants with the opportunity to:

* Hear updates on key policy issues to advance equity for communities of color in health coverage
* Learn about key legislative proposals
* Discuss advocacy and mobilization efforts to advance policy

Registration is $25 for the General Public, $10 for CPEHN Network Members. The Network Member discount code is: 4EQUITY

Oakland – April 21, 2015
9:30 am to 2:00 pm
Nile Hall, Preservation Park
668 13th Street
Co-hosts: ACCESS Women’s Health Justice, Asian Health Services, Korean Community Center of the East Bay, Young Invincibles
Register for Oakland

Fresno – April 23, 2015
9:30 am to 2:00 pm
Fresno Downtown Business Hub
1444 Fulton Street
Co-hosts: California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, Centro Binacional para el Desarrollo Indígena Oaxaqueño, Centro La Familia
Register for Fresno

Los Angeles – April 27, 2015
9:30 am to 2:00 pm
Japanese American Cultural and Community Center
Garden Room A
244 S. San Pedro Street
Co-hosts: Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, Black Women for Wellness, Centro Binacional para el Desarrollo Indígena Oaxaqueño, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, Community Health Councils, Korean Resource Center, National Immigration Law Center, Young Invincibles
Register for Los Angeles

San Diego – April 28, 2015
9:30 am to 2:00 pm
Sherman Heights Community Center
2258 Island Avenue
Co-hosts: Council of Community Clinics & Community Clinics Health Network of San Diego, Mid-City CAN, San Diego Black Health Associates, San Ysidro Health Center
Register for San Diego

In addition to these four events, we will also be holding an additional convening in San Bernardino. More information to come soon!

Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided. Interpretation available by request.

Click to register for Focus on Equity: Communities of Color in a Post-ACA California.

A special thanks to our funders, who help make all our events possible:
The California Endowment
California HealthCare Foundation
Kaiser Permanente
The San Francisco Foundation
Sutter Health

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Black Women for Wellness Celebrates Valentines Day 2015

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Black Women for Wellness celebrates Valentine’s Day 2015 with delicious food, fashion, beauty and more…

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National Diabetes Prevention Program Logo

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Your life experience can light a fire or motivation in your participants. Unlike celebrity spokespeople on TV, you are a live, flawed, flesh and bone person just like them. The power of your personal story is more relatable and inspiring than you can imagine. Your story is as helpful as any information they may glean from the participants notebook. You are the magic. By sharing your story, and inviting others to do the same, you will help them discover their innate ability to self-heal.

I am the granddaughter of former slaves on both sides of my family. They had no education and no one offered to ‘help’ them navigate life as ‘free’ people. Ignorant and afraid, they succumbed to life as sharecroppers; paying their captors for the privilege to work as free labor. My grandmother, Odessia Champ, had “the sugar,” which we now call diabetes. She received no care beyond diagnosis and eventually died from related complications as her children watched helpless and afraid. Her older children followed suit as type 2 diabetes took over, reeling out of control. Like their mother, they died of diabetes-related diseases and conditions.

My Mom, Odessia’s 6th child of 7, intellectually knew everything she needed to know to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. She was a trained nurse and provided loving care to thousands of patients, educating families about how to live well and prevent illness. Unaware of the power of her own thoughts, my mother’s personal mantra became, “I’m a sitting duck. I know I’m going to have diabetes.” And so it was. In her late 60’s, Mom successfully manifested type 2 diabetes. My father also has type 2 diabetes.

Children either mimic the traits of their parents, or they fight with all their might to do the opposite – rejecting those traits we wish to abandon. My family’s history of diabetes is the spark that ignited my choice to become a healer and wellness educator. My parents modeled how to be diabetic. All five of their children have chosen a different path. Ranging in age from 53 to 60, we are diabetes-free! We make wise food choices and engage in various levels of physical activity. My involvement in Change your Lifestyle. Change Your Life. is a response to a Divine assignment to change the health history of my family and community, while empowering others to do the same. This is my story.

You are not here by accident. What life events prepared you to be a Lifestyle Coach? What is your connection to diabetes and why is it important to help others prevent this deadly disease? Share your story with your participants. Telling your story will help others heal. It will strengthen your voice and reaffirm your values. Sharing your story has the potential to encourage others to pursue peace and hope, which opens the heart to transformation and lays a foundation for successful and lasting lifestyle change.

The Empowered Lifestyle Coach is written by Rhonda Kuykendall-Jabari for the training & development of BWWLA Change Your Lifestyle. Change Your Life. Lifestyle Coaches. For information about National Diabetes Prevention Program classes & Lifestyle Coaching opportunities at BWWLA, contact Rhonda at (323) 290-5955.

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Sisters in the Struggle, Book Cover

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Too Heavy a Load, Book Cover Too Heavy a Load celebrates this century’s rich history of black women defending themselves, from Ida B. Wells to Anita Hill. Although most prominently a history of the century-long struggle against racism and male chauvinism, Deborah Gray White also movingly illuminates black women’s painful struggle to hold their racial and gender identities intact while feeling the inexorable pull of the agendas of white women and black men.




Ida Wells-Barnett, Book Cover In the tradition of towering biographies that tell us as much about America as they do about their subject, Ida: A Sword Among Lions is a sweeping narrative about a country and a crusader embroiled in the struggle against lynching: a practice that imperiled not only the lives of black men and women, but also a nation based on law and riven by race.




Freedoms Daughters, Book Cover Who What When Where Why, These are just a few of the questions asked and answered in this book. It’s a book that people should refer to often. The Unsung Heroines of the Civil Rights Movement 1830 – 1970, by Lynne Olson.






Freedom's Teacher, Book Cover Septima Clark just look at her life and the quite impact she had.

In the mid-1950s, Septima Poinsette Clark (1898-1987), a former public school teacher, developed a citizenship training program that enabled thousands of African Americans to register to vote and then to link the power of the ballot to concrete strategies for individual and communal empowerment.




Sisters in the Struggle, Book Cover “If Bettye Collier-Thomas and V.P. Franklin had only gathered together a distinguished group of scholars to document the role woman played in the black freedom movement, their contribution would be immense. But Sisters in the Struggle is more than an acknowledgement and celebration of black woman’s activism. It is a major revision of history, revealing that black women were the critical thinkers, strategists, fighters, and dreamers of the movement. Black feminists developed a social vision expansive enough to emancipate us all.” – Robin D.G. Kelley,author of Race Rebels: Culture, Politics, and the Black Working Class


BWW Event Calendar