Third World Women's Alliance

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The Third World Women's Alliance (TWWA) was a revolutionary socialist women-of-color organization active from 1968 to 1980[1] aimed at ending capitalism, racism, imperialism, and sexism. The TWWA was one of the earliest groups advocating an intersectional approach to women's oppression.

History[edit]

The Third World Women’s Alliance was founded in New York City in the summer of 1970.[2] Its origins lay in women's activism in Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. In December 1968, Black women in SNCC formed the Black Women's Liberation Committee, but early in 1970, the women decided to expand their membership beyond SNCC and renamed their group the Black Women's Alliance.[3] In the summer of 1970, the Black Women's Alliance was approached by revolutionary Puerto Rican women activists, and after some debate, decided to admit them to the organization, creating the Third World Women’s Alliance.[4] Cheryl Perry, who had been recruited into the New York TWWA chapter through friends connected to the Venceremos Brigade, established a second chapter in Oakland/San Francisco in 1971.[5]

The main purpose of the Third World Women's Alliance was to unite women of color in struggle against racism, imperialism, and sexism, as the banner of their newspaper Triple Jeopardy (1971-1975) proclaimed.[6] The Third World Women's Alliance stressed the ideological connections between capitalist exploitation, global imperialism, and the oppression of women of color.

The Alliance attempted to tackle issues of race, gender, and class concurrently; a statement in the first issue of Triple Jeopardy proclaimed "the struggle against racism and imperialism must be waged simultaneously with the struggle for women's liberation" by "a strong independent socialist women's group."[7]

The first meeting was on September 25, 1971 and was followed by a series of consciousness-raising sessions, which covered political and cultural education issues such as political prisoners. The TWWA struggled internally with homophobia, and the West Coast branch in particular lost several lesbian members because of this.[8] In contrast, the East Coast branch incorporated a position against heterosexism into its principles of struggle:

Whereas behavior patterns based on rigid sex roles are oppressive to both men and women, role integration should be attempted. The true revolutionary should be concerned with human beings and not limit themselves to people as sex objects. Furthermore, whether homosexuality is societal or genetic in origin, it exists in the third world community. The oppression and dehumanizing ostracism that homosexuals face must be rejected and their right to exist as dignified human beings must be defended.[9]

The Third World Women’s Alliance (TWWA) widened the possibility of women’s involvement through a triple jeopardy perspective. The organization's feminist position connected domestic issues in communities of color to justice and anti-imperial movements in the Third World. Adding to the critical reproductive theory. Furthermore, it demonstrates how Black women's protests against sexism in the civil rights movements formed a Black feminist mutual identity.

Many understood the Third World Women's Alliance to be a US women of color political formation. Because it was a radical based movement, they focused on the experiences, concerns, and perspectives of black, Asian, Puerto Rican and Hispanic women who were critical of the masculine beliefs interfering with the justice movements occurring within their community. It developed with the goal of redefining the "role of the black woman in the revolutionary struggle". The group, now to be called the Third World Women's Alliance (TWWA) brought differences of culture, race, and ethnicity into the fight against capitalist exploitation in communities of color, stereotypes, and drug and alcohol abuse. They waged with segments of Black Power and women's liberation movements.

Contributions[edit]

The common ground in the Alliance was oppression and how they faced oppression from the time they had to resist it. The thought of the Alliance was to bring out the depth of the stress on how the oppression and suffering blacks have experienced. If there is anything to learn from the Alliance is that were a revolutionary feminist groups, which roles are not made from the incompatibility of white role models but to be with the goal of black liberation.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Third World Women's Alliance Records, 1971-1980".
  2. ^ Ward, Stephen (2013). "Third World Women's Alliance". In Peniel E. Joseph. Black Power Movement: Rethinking the Civil Rights-Black Power Era. Routledge. p. 141. ISBN 1-136-77340-1.
  3. ^ Kimberly Springer (1999). Still Lifting, Still Climbing: Contemporary African American Women's Activism. NYU Press. p. 111. ISBN 978-0-8147-8124-1.
  4. ^ Kimberly Springer (7 April 2005). Living for the Revolution: Black Feminist Organizations, 1968–1980. Duke University Press. p. 49. ISBN 0-8223-8685-2.
  5. ^ Kimberly Springer (7 April 2005). Living for the Revolution: Black Feminist Organizations, 1968–1980. Duke University Press. p. 49. ISBN 0-8223-8685-2.
  6. ^ Kimberly Springer (1999). Still Lifting, Still Climbing: Contemporary African American Women's Activism. NYU Press. p. 113. ISBN 978-0-8147-8124-1.
  7. ^ "Women in the Struggle". Triple Jeopardy. 1 (1): 8–9. September–October 1971.
  8. ^ Kimberly Springer (7 April 2005). Living for the Revolution: Black Feminist Organizations, 1968–1980. Duke University Press. p. 131. ISBN 0-8223-8685-2.
  9. ^ Kimberly Springer (7 April 2005). Living for the Revolution: Black Feminist Organizations, 1968–1980. Duke University Press. pp. 131–132. ISBN 0-8223-8685-2.

External links[edit]