There is a new era of feminism among us this day and age and for women of color this lifelong battle for equality has been replenished with new allies charging the revolution. But what do they know in order to be worthy of the cause? What life experiences have these allies faced in order to help lead in the charge? What struggles have they endured to speak on the behalf of the ones faced with injustice? There are many questions to be asked and many answers are provided in a number of books to read if you want to become a better ally for women of color. Or better yet become a better community for women of color.
This is not to draw a line in the sand to say one race life struggles are different from another, but there is a great amount of truth within the characters of these words. I am a black woman, my struggles to succeed is far different from any other woman, my drive to become better is far different from any other and my failures, let downs and losses is far different from any other. But if I told you my story, your understanding of my journey could possibly be relatable. This is how one becomes a better ally, and a force to be reckon with when it comes to change. So if you want to align yourself with women of color and help them fight for equality, here are some books to read to become a better ally for them.
1. 'We Just Keep Running The Line' by Laquana Gray
We Just Keep Running the Line Chronicles the rise of the poultry processing industry in El Dorado, which was primarily done on the backs of black women. Gray argues that the justification for placing African American women in the lowest-paying and most dangerous of these jobs, like poultry processing, derives from longstanding mischaracterizations of black women by those in power. In turn creating a sociological mindset against these women of the community.
2. 'Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America by Melissa V. Harris-Perry
Imagine looking through the emotional lens of shame and stereotypes from an African American woman's perspective. Melissa V. Harris-Perry's Sister Citizen uses character types of the sexually charged Jezebel, the devoted Mammy, and outspoken, angry Sapphire to explore how African American women understand themselves as citizens and what they expect from world of political.
3. 'Colonize This!: Young Women of Color on Today's Feminism (Live Girls)' by Daisey Hernandez and Bushra Rehman
Colonize This! is a carefully, crafted collection of essays by young women writers, academics, and activists from a range of cultures and sexual orientations redesigning the past ideology of feminism and sharing the stories of the "New Feminist Movement" from the views of women of color.
4. 'Women, Race, & Class' by Angela Y. Davis
Before Beyoncé there was Angela Y. Davis, an author known for her work for civil rights during the Black Panther movement. Women, Race, and Class provides a history of Davis's research and results on the subject of civil rights for Blacks, Women's and workers' movements in the U.S. today.
5. 'When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost : My Life as A Hip Hop Feminist' by Joan Morgan
6. 'Ain't I A Woman: Black Women and Feminism' by bell hooks
7. 'This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color' by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa
On it's fourth edition, This Bridge Called My Back is a testimony to women of color feminism as it emerges into the last quarter of the twentieth century with a complex confluence of identities in race, class, gender, and sexuality all systemic to women of color oppression and liberation.