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The Color of Violence: Incite! Anthologyby Andrea Smith
Synopses & Reviews
What would it take to end violence against women of color?How does the mainstream antiviolence movement help? How does it hinder?When will we admit that repositioning women of color at the center of the movement—women more often harmed by the police, prisons, and border patrols than aided by them—means that we must address state violence?
In Color of Violence, INCITE! demands that we
• reconsider a reliance on the criminal justice system for solving women’s struggles with domestic violence;
• acknowledge how militarism subjects women to extreme levels of violence perpetrated from within, and without, their communities;
• recognize how the medical establishment inflicts violence—such as involuntary sterilization and inadequate health care—on women of color;
• devise new strategies for cross-cultural dialogue, theorizing, and alliance building;
• and much, much more.
INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence was born in 2000, when more than two thousand dedicated activists from diverse communities came together to end the war being waged on women of color in the US and around the world. Now the largest multiracial, grassroots, feminist organization in the United States, INCITE! boasts chapters in more than 20 cities. Color of Violence: The INCITE! Anthology presents the fierce and vital writing of 32 of these visionaries, who not only shift the focus from domestic violence and sexual assault, but also map innovative strategies of movement building and resistance used by women of color around the world. At a time of heightened state surveillance and repression of people of color, Color of Violence: The INCITE! Anthology is an essential intervention.
"Anyone who's complacent about the successes of the feminist movement should dip into this collection of 28 essays about the women left behind, left out or simply forgotten. Ranging in style from the jeremiad to the jargon-laden, from the anecdotal to the analytical, the essays are compiled by Incite!, which describes itself as 'the largest multiracial grassroots feminist organization in the U.S.' Three essays offer eye-opening revelations below the radar of mainstream feminism ('Disability in the New World Order' by Nirmala Erevelles; 'Disloyal to Feminism: Abuse of Survivors within the Domestic Violence Shelter System' by Emi Kayama; 'Criminal Punishment and Economic Violence Against Women of Color' by Patricia Allard). Though representing a broad spectrum, the contributions often fall in ethnic huddles; four, for example, focus on the Israel/Palestine conflict and three on Iraq and terrorism. Andrea Ritchie's 'Law Enforcement Violence against Women of Color' and Andrea Smith's 'Heteropatriarchy and the Three Pillars of White Supremacy' are noteworthy for their inclusiveness. Frequently polemical and controversial, some essays may preach to the choir while turning off the congregation. Two haunting poems by Noura Erekat and maiana minahal urge a thoughtful consideration of the other texts." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The Color of Violence radically expands our understandings about violence against women, and how to end it.
This collection of 28 essays about women and the multitude of ways they are victimized around the world by criminal justice systems, militarism, and the medical establishment is compiled by Incite!, which describes itself as "the largest multiracial grassroots feminist organization in the U.S."
In 2000, over TK activists convened in Santa Cruz, California. They were drawn together from diverse communities by one unifying mission: to end the war being waged on women of color in the US and around the world. There INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence was born. Already the largest multiracial, grassroots feminist organization in the US, INCITE! boasts TK members and chapters in TK cities, including New York, Detroit, Boston, Chicago, New Orleans, San Francisco, and Seattle. Color of Violencepresents the fierce and vital writing of 24 of these visionary women-including well-known scholars and activists Kimberle Crenshaw, Haunani-Kay Trask, Dorothy Roberts, Elizabeth Martinez, and Margo Okazawa-Rey.
Drawing astute connections between different forms of interpersonal violence and violence perpetrated by police, prisons, and the military, the contributors both expand the definition of violence against women- shifting the focus from domestic violence and sexual assault-and place women of color at the center. For example, Loretta Ross reveals how immigration laws and border policing compound violence against migrating women and Patricia Allard explores how the state inflicts violence through legislating poverty.
Unlike most existing examinations of violence against women that treat women as "victims,"Color of Violencehighlights the groundbreaking work of survivors and activists in creating strategies to counter violence. The authors map innovative strategies of movement building and resistance used by women of color around the world. At a time of heightened state surveillance and repression of people of color, the INCITE! Anthologyis an essential intervention.
About the Author
Assistant professor in Native American Studies at University of Michigan, Smith cofounded INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence, the largest grassroots multiracial feminist organization in the US. Her first book, Conquest, won the Myers Outstanding Book award. In 2005 Smith was endorsed by 1000 Women for Peace for a Nobel Prize nomination, one of only 40 Americans on the list. Associate Professor in Criminal Justice and Women's Studies and Director of the African American Studies Program at the University of Illinois, Richie is currently researching women and youth issues at Riker's Island Correctional Facility.
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