Chude Pam Allen
Education and Civil Rights Movement activism
Pamela Parker was born in Pennsylvania in 1943. She grew up Episcopalian and lived in Solebury, Pennsylvania. Her mother was a nursery school teacher and her father worked as a manager in a rubber goods factory.
Allen attended Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, where she studied religion. She joined the Students for a Democratic Society. During the summer of 1963, she was a counselor at the Church of the Advocate in Philadelphia where she lived with an African American minister and his family. In her junior year, she was one of 13 white exchange students at the Spelman College in Spring 1964. There she attended a seminar on nonviolence conducted by Staughton Lynd and became involved with the Committee on the Appeal for Human Rights. She volunteered as a Freedom School teacher in Holly Springs, Mississippi, for Freedom Summer. During her senior year, she was an activist on campus and spoke for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. She married African-American activist Robert L. Allen in 1965. Following her graduation from Carleton, she moved to New York, where she worked at an agency that found homes for foster children.
Women's liberation movement
Allen was a key activist in the white women's liberation movement and she advocated for greater attention to be given to racism within the movement. She co-founded New York Radical Women with Shulamith Firestone in 1967. The group planned the Jeannette Rankin Brigade action. Allen later left the group, criticizing their views of motherhood and rejection of traditional roles for women. She worked for The Guardian in early 1968. She moved to San Francisco, where she joined the feminist group Sudsofloppen. Based on her experiences with the group, she wrote the influential pamphlet Free Space: A Perspective on the Small Group in Women's Liberation, in which she outlined a four-stage method of consciousness-raising. The work was influenced by humanistic psychology.
She was editor for the newspaper of the Union Women's Alliance to Gain Equality (Union WAGE). She was also involved with the Bridal Fair action of 1969, the Miss America protest, and International Women's Day.
She changed her name from Pamela Allen to Chude Pamela Allen.
Allen collaborated with her first husband on the 1974 book Reluctant Reformers: Racism and Social Reform Movements in the United States. She also writes poetry and has drafted two plays, The Uprising of the 20,000 and Could We Be Heard.
Allen is a member of the Bay Area Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement. She lives in San Francisco.
- "Pamela P. Allen Papers, 1967-1974". Wisconsin Historical Society Library Archives Division. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
- Allen, Chude Pam (Summer 2013). "My parents said yes!". Miamian Magazine.
- "Exchange: Three White Women Students at Spelman, 1962-1964". Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement. April 18, 2007. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
- McAdam, Doug (1990). Freedom Summer. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 230–231. ISBN 978-0-19-506472-8.
- "Chude Pam Parker Allen". Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
- Evans, Sara (1980). Personal Politics: The Roots of Women's Liberation in the Civil Rights Movement & the New Left (Unabridged. ed.). New York: Vintage Books. p. 206. ISBN 978-0-307-77360-9.
- Breines, Winifred (2006). The Trouble Between Us: An Uneasy History of White and Black Women in the Feminist Movement. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 112, 114, 197. ISBN 978-0-19-803980-8.
- Shugar, Dana R. (1995). Separatism and Women's Community. Lincoln [u.a.]: University of Nebraska Press. p. 5. ISBN 978-0-8032-4244-9.
- M. Rivka Polatnick (Spring 1996). "Diversity in Women's Liberation Ideology: How a Black and a White Group of the 1960s Viewed Motherhood". Signs 21 (3): 679–706. doi:10.1086/495102.
- Dyl, Joanna. "Women's Liberation Origins and Development of the Movement". FoundSF. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
- Balser, Diane (1987). Sisterhood & Solidarity: Feminism and Labor in Modern Times (1st ed.). Boston, Massachusetts: South End Press. p. 89. ISBN 978-0-89608-277-9.
- Pamela P. Allen Papers, 1967-1974, Wisconsin Historical Society