Sisterhood Is Powerful
Cover of the first edition
Sisterhood Is Powerful: An Anthology of Writings from the Women's Liberation Movement is a 1970 anthology of radical feminist writings edited by Robin Morgan, a feminist poet and founding member of New York Radical Women. It was one of the first widely available anthologies of second-wave feminism. It was both a consciousness-raising analysis and a call-to-action. The collection addressed several major issues including "the need for radical feminism, the discrimination women experienced from men in the political left, and the blatant sexism faced in the workplace.” Kathie Sarachild had coined the phrase "Sisterhood is Powerful" in 1968, in a flier she wrote for the keynote speech she gave for New York Radical Women's first public action at the convocation of the Jeannette Rankin Brigade.
The compilation included classic feminist essays by activists such as Naomi Weisstein, Kate Millett, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Florynce Kennedy, Frances M. Beal, Lucinda Cisler, Joreen, Marge Piercy and Mary Daly, as well as historical documents including the N.O.W. Bill of Rights, excerpts from the SCUM Manifesto, the Redstockings Manifesto, and historical documents from WITCH. It also included a document from the Black Women's Liberation Group from Mount Vernon; this piece demonstrated the race-conscious “sisterhood” that some second-wave black feminists demanded and was used by many second-wave feminists to communicate this demand. It also included what Morgan coined "verbal karate”: useful quotes and statistics about women.
The anthology has been widely credited with helping to start the general women's movement in the U.S. It was cited by the New York Public Library as "one of the 100 most influential Books of the 20th Century." However, Chile, China, and South Africa banned the anthology.
Robin Morgan established the first American feminist grant-giving organization, The Sisterhood Is Powerful Fund, with the royalties from Sisterhood is Powerful: An Anthology of Writings From The Women's Liberation Movement.
Sisterhood Is Global: The International Women's Movement Anthology (1984) is the follow-up to Sisterhood is Powerful: An Anthology of Writings From The Women's Liberation Movement. After Sisterhood Is Global came its follow-up, Sisterhood Is Forever: The Women's Anthology for a New Millennium (2003).
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