Dec 02

Radical Black, LGBTQ+ Feminist Lives


The conversation brings together four thinkers whose work examines the long history of Black women strategies for combating racism, misogyny through collective action in spaces as varied as the prison and the digital world. Barbara Smith’s lifelong commitment to this activism will ground an intergenerational conversation where the radical Black feminism, LGBTQ+ lives will be centered.


  • Moya Bailey

    Northwestern University

    Dr. Moya Bailey is an associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Northwestern University. Her work focuses on Black women’s use of digital media to promote social justice as acts of self-affirmation and health promotion. She is interested in how race, gender, and sexuality are represented in media and medicine. She is a co-author of #HashtagActivism: Networks of Race and Gender Justice and is the author of the forthcoming, Misogynoir Transformed: Black Women’s Digital Resistance.

    She is a graduate of the Emory University Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department. She is the founder and co-conspirator of Quirky Black Girls, a network for strange and different black girls and now serves at the digital alchemist for the Octavia E. Butler Legacy Network.

    She attended Spelman College where she initially endeavored to become a physician. She fell in love with Women’s Studies and activism, ultimately driving her to graduate school in lieu of medicine. As an undergrad she received national attention for her involvement in the Nelly Protest at Spelman, a moment that solidified her deep commitment to examining representations of Black women in popular culture. She also coined the term misogynoir which describes the unique anti-Black racist misogyny that Black women experience.

  • Laura Lovett

    University of Pittsburgh

    Laura Lovett is Associate Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the author of With Her Fist Raised: Dorothy Pitman Hughes and the Transformative Power of Community Activism (Beacon Press, 2021) and Conceiving the Future: Pronatalism, Reproduction, and the Family in the United States, 1890-1930 (University of North Carolina Press, 2007). She is editor of Sex in Global History: Modern Sources and Perspectives (Cognella Publishing, 2018) and co-editor with Lori Rotskoff of When We Were Free to Be: Looking Back at a Children’s Classic and the Difference It Made (University of North Carolina Press, 2012).

    Professor Lovett is currently co-editing a collection of essays on African American women leaders at the 1977 National Women’s Conference. “It’s Our Movement Now”: Black Women’s Politics and the 1977 National Women’s Conference places Black women’s experience and leadership at the center of the history of the women’s movement.

  • Barbara Smith

    Author, Editor, Activist, Teacher

    Beginning in the 1970s, Barbara Smith broke new ground as a black feminist, lesbian, activist, author, and book publisher of women of color. Smith co-founded the Combahee River Collective in 1974. This document was one of the earliest explorations of the intersection of multiple oppressions, including racism and heterosexism, critiquing both sexual oppression in the black community and racism within the wider feminist movement. She co-founded Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press in 1980, the first U.S. publisher of books for women of color. Smith taught classes on black women’s literature and has been visiting professor, writer in residence, freelance writer, and lecturer at numerous universities and research institutions, including the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (1995-1996). She is the author of numerous books and continues to lecture widely.

  • Emily Thuma

    University of Washington, Tacoma

    Emily Thuma is an interdisciplinary historian of the twentieth-century United States who works at the intersection of American studies, feminist and queer studies, critical race and ethnic studies, legal studies, and critical prison studies. Her research focuses on social movements, legal reform, and the politics and lived experience of criminalization and incarceration since the 1960s. Her book, All Our Trials: Prisons, Policing, and the Feminist Fight to End Violence, won the 2020 Lambda Literary Award for Best Book in LGBTQ Studies and was a finalist for the Organization of American Historians' 2020 Mary Nickliss Prize for Best Book in U.S. Women's and/or Gender History. Prior to joining the faculty of UW Tacoma in 2019, she was an Assistant Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies and History at the University of California, Irvine.



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