The Redstockings’ Organizational Collection, Redstockings’ Women’s Liberation Archives for Action, 1940s-1991: Part 1: The Birth of the Women’s Liberation Movement: Pioneers and Their Sources, 1940’s - 1972

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Overview

The Redstockings’ Organizational Collection, Redstockings’ Women’s Liberation Archives for Action, 1940s-1991 is a publication indispensible for the study of the origins and practice of 1960’s and 1970’s feminism. These archives are filled with first-hand descriptions, commentary, critiques, and debate about much of the theory, concepts, strategy and tactics that proved crucial to the meteoric rise of the Women’s Liberation Movement--and later the struggle against its decline--all by women at its core. They are a rich source of the primary documents and discussions that were manifested by the slogans "Sisterhood Is Powerful," and "The Personal is Political."

Redstockings was the name coined in 1969 by Shulamith Firestone and Ellen Willis for one of the earliest women’s liberation groups of the second wave. The name represented the union of two traditions: the "bluestocking" label disparagingly pinned on feminists of earlier centuries--and "red" for revolution. Participants and associates of the group included pioneer second wave activists and theoreticians Kathie Amatniek Sarachild, Carol Hanisch, Pat Mainardi, and Judith Brown, each of whom would shape the group over the years.

The collaboration between activists working in the South and those working in the North lies at the heart of this collection. These papers demonstrate the link between the radical southern civil rights organizing of the Student Non-Violent Organizing Committee, the Congress of Racial Equality, and the Southern Conference Education Fund with the revolutionary project of Women’s Liberation. The reactions to this project, pro and con, are documented here in letters from women all over the country.

Researchers will especially value a "chronological bibliography" of historic articles and manifestos, separate versions annotated, which was assembled by these organizers with the help of Women’s Liberation veterans from around the country.

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