We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965-85: A Sourcebook



We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965-85: A Sourcebook

This edition

"We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965-85: A Sourcebook". Ed. Catherine Morris and Rujeko Hockley. Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn Museum / Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2017. 318 pp.

Table of contents

Forward / Anne Pasternak -- Revolutionary hope: landmark writings, 1965-85 / Catherine Morris and Rujeko Hockley -- Spiral, the Black arts movement, and "Where we at" Black women artists / Connie H. Choi -- Why Spiral? (1966) / Jeanne Siegel -- Any day now: Black art and Black liberation (1969) / Larry Neal -- Africobra: African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists, 10 in search of a nation (1970) / Jeff Donaldson -- "Where we at" Black women artists (1972) / Kay Brown -- Race and women's liberation / Rujeko Hockley -- An argument for Black women's liberation as a revolutionary force (1969) / Mary Ann Weathers -- What the Black woman thinks about women's lib (1971) / Toni Morrison -- In search of our mothers' gardens: the creativity of Black women in the south (1974) / Alice Walker -- Black feminism: a new mandate (1974) / Margaret Sloan -- A litany for survival (1978) / Audre Lorde -- Faith Ringgold's radical activism / Catherine Morris -- For the Women's House: interview with Faith Ringgold (1972) / Michele Wallace -- Collective artist actions in New York / Carmen Hermo -- The demands of Art Workers Coalition (1969) / Art Workers' Coalition -- To the viewing public for the 1970 Whitney Annual Exhibition (undated) / Women Artists in Revolution, Women's Ad Hoc Committee, and Women Students and Artists for Black Art Liberation -- Letter of withdrawal from Contemporary Black Artists in America, Whitney Museum of American Art, 1971 (1971) / John Dowell, Sam Gilliam, Daniel Johnson, Joe Overstreet, Melvin Edwards, Richard Hunt, and William T. Williams -- Letter in defense of the Judson Three (1971) / Flo Kennedy, Gerald Lefcourt, and Robert Projansky -- Letter of support for the Judson Three (1971) / The Committee to Defend the Judson Three -- Color scheming (1981) / Lucy R. Lippard -- Just above midtown gallery / Rujeko Hockley -- Letter to her parents (1967) / Linda Goode Bryant -- Cover artwork (undated) for Black Currant 1, no. 1 (May 1982) / Janet Henry -- B Culture 1, no. 1 (1986) / Greg Tate and Craig Dennis Street -- Interview with Linda Goode Bryant (1994) / Tony Whitfield -- Senga Nengudi's Freeway fets / Rujeko Hockley -- Announcement card for Freeway fets (1978) / Senga Nengudi -- The Combahee River Collective / Rujeko Hockley -- 22 A Black feminist statement (1977) / The Combahee River Collective -- Struggling for diversity in heresies / Catherine Morris -- Letters between Combahee River Collective and Heresies Lesbian Issue Collective in "Women's traditional arts: the politics of aesthetics," Heresies, issue 4 (1978) -- Third world women speak (1978) / Lowery Stokes Sims -- Editorial statement in "Third world women: the politics of being other," Heresies, issue 8 (1979) / Lula Mae Blocton, Yvonne Flowers, Valerie Harris, Zarina Hashmi, Virginia Jaramillo, Dawn Russell, and Naeemah Shabazz -- Mlle Bourgeoise Noire goes to the new museum, in "The women's pages," Heresies, issue 14 (1982) / Lorraine O'Grady -- Editorial statement and Heresies Collective statement in "Racism is the issue," Heresies, issue 15 (1982) / Vivian E. Browne, Cynthia Carr, Michele Godwin, Hattie Gossett, Carole Gregory, Sue Heinemann, Lucy R. Lippard, May Stevens, Cecilia Vicuña, and Sylvia Witts Vitale -- Some do's and don'ts for Black women artists, in "Racism is the issue," Heresies, issue 15 (1982) / Emma Amos -- Untitled, in "Racism is the issue," Heresies, issue 15 (1982) / Lorna Simpson -- Black dreams, in "Racism is the issue," Heresies, issue 15 (1982) / Lorraine O'Grady -- Ana Mendieta's dialetics of isolation / Stephanie Weissberg : Dialectics of isolation: an exhibition of third world women artists of the United States, excerpts (1980) ; Introduction / Ana Mendieta ; Artist's statement / Beverly Buchanan ; Artist's statement / Janet Henry ; Artist's statement / Senga Nengudi ; Artist's statement / Howardena Pindell -- On making a video: free, White and 21 (1992) / Howardena Pindell -- Gender politics at the intersection of race, class and sexual identity / Carmen Hermo -- Speaking in tongues: a letter to third world women writers (1981) / Gloria Anzaldúa -- Revolutionary hope: a conversation between James Baldwin and Audre Lorde (1984) / James Baldwin and Audre Lorde -- The eighties / Rujeko Hockley -- Art (world) & racism: testimony, documentation and statistics (1987) / Howardena Pindell -- Confession: filming family: an interview with artist and filmmaker Camille Billops (1996) / bell hooks -- Photo spread of Rodeo Caldonia (1987) -- She came with the rodeo (1994) / Lisa Jones.

Publisher's description

• "Focusing on the work of black women artists, We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965-85 examines the political, social, cultural, and aesthetic priorities of women of color during the emergence of second-wave feminism. It is the first exhibition to highlight the voices and experiences of women of color--distinct from the primarily white, middle-class mainstream feminist movement--in order to reorient conversations around race, feminism, political action, art production, and art history in this significant historical period. Presenting a diverse group of artists and activists who lived and worked at the intersections of avant-garde art worlds, radical political movements, and profound social change, the exhibition features a wide array of work, including conceptual, performance, film, and video art, as well as photography, painting, sculpture, and printmaking" (Brooklyn Museum website)

Anthology editor(s)' discourse

• Published on the occasion of an exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, April 21-September 17, 2017./ The artists represented in the exhibition include Emma Amos, Camille Billops, Kay Brown, Vivian E. Browne, Linda Goode Bryant, Beverly Buchanan, Carole Byard, Elizabeth Catlett, Barbara Chase-Riboud, Ayoka Chenzira, Christine Choy and Susan Robeson, Blondell Cummings, Julie Dash, Pat Davis, Jeff Donaldson, Maren Hassinger, Janet Henry, Virginia Jaramillo, Jae Jarrell, Wadsworth Jarrell, Lisa Jones, Loïs Mailou Jones, Barbara Jones-Hogu, Carolyn Lawrence, Samella Lewis, Dindga McCannon, Barbara McCullough, Ana Mendieta, Senga Nengudi, Lorraine O'Grady, Howardena Pindell, Faith Ringgold, Alva Rogers, Alison Saar, Betye Saar, Coreen Simpson, Lorna Simpson, Ming Smith, and Carrie Mae Weems./ This "Sourcebook gathers selected writings in order to situate radical art-making within the broader sociopolitical context of the period. It highlights the artists' and writers' own voices, in primary sources and original documents pertaining to several significant historical events, activist artist groups, and key exhibitions."--Page 19

Reviews and notices of anthology

• Bolles, A. Lynn. Review of "We Wanted a Revolution" and of "Scandalize My Name: Black Feminist Practice and the Making of Black Social Life." "Journal of African American History" 104.1 (Winter 2019): 114-20.
• Farrington, Lisa. "Woman's Art Journal" 39.1 (Spring/Summer 2018): 54-57. JSTOR.
• Williams, Lynora. "ARLIS/NA [Art Libraries Society of North America] Reviews" (Nov. 2017).

See also

• "We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965-85: New Perspectives". Ed. Catherine Morris and Rujeko Hockley. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2018.
Table of Contents:
Foreword / Anne Pasternak 8
Acknowledgments 10
Introduction / Catherine Morris and Rujeko Hockley 17
Swimming with E.C. / Kellie Jones 49
Early Intersections: The Work of Third World Feminism / Aruna D'Souza 73
Sand, Nylon, and Dirt: Senga Nengudi and Maren Hassinger in Southern California / Uri McMillan 97
When the Rent was Cheap and the Art was Everything: Remembering Rodeo Caldonia / Lisa Jones 121
Exhibition Checklist: We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965-85 128
Bibliography / Compiled by Allie Rickard 143
Copyright and Photo Credits 151
Brooklyn Museum Board of Trustees 152
This volume accompanies the "Sourcebook" volume published in 2017: "the second volume, New Perspectives, includes original essays and perspectives by Aruna D’Souza, Uri McMillan, Kellie Jones, and Lisa Jones that place the exhibition's works in both historical and contemporary contexts. New Perspectives also includes two new poems by Alice Walker. The book is generously illustrated with major objects from the exhibition, installation views, and other photographs. A checklist of the exhibition as well as an extensive bibliography complete the volume. Together with the Sourcebook, New Perspectives shares this important body of art by women of color, presents their voices, provides important commentary on that time and its unresolved issues, and offers extended documentation of the exhibition."
• Brooklyn Museum, "We Wanted a Revolution: Radical Black Women, 1965-85" exhibition. 21 April-17 Sept. 2017.
• California African American Museum, "We Wanted a Revolution: Radical Black Women, 1965-85" exhibition, 13 Oct. 2017-14 Jan. 2018
• Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) Boston, "We Wanted a Revolution: Radical Black Women, 1965-85" exhibition. 27 June-30 Sept. 2018.
• Morgan, Marcyliena, and Christina Twicken. "We Wanted a Revolution" Playlist. Hiphop Archive and Research Institute.
Reviews of the Exhibition
• Bobier, Kim. Exhibition Review. "Panorama: Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art" 3.2 (Fall 2017).
• Cotter, Holland. "To Be Black, Female and Fed Up with the Mainstream." "New York Times" 20 April 2017.
• "Goings On About Town." "New Yorker" 2017.
"The several dozen artists whose work is featured in this superlative survey did not conform to one style, but they did share urgent concerns, often addressing issues of bias and exclusion in their art—and in their art-world organizing. The Just Above Midtown Gallery (JAM), a crucial New York institution of the black avant-garde, was instrumental to the careers of a number of them, including Lorraine O’Grady, whose sardonic pageant gown made of countless white gloves—the artist wore it in guerrilla performances at gallery openings—is a wonder. There is much powerful photography on view, from Ming Smith’s spontaneous portraits of Harlemites in the seventies to Lorna Simpson and Carrie Mae Weems’s poignant pairings of image and text, from the eighties. But the ephemera—the fascinating documentation and spirited newsletters—provide the exhibition’s glue, presenting the women not as anomalous achievers but as part of a formidable movement."
• Trouillot, Terence. "The Brooklyn Museum's History of Black Radical Women Draws Its Power from the Grassroots." "Artnet" 28 April 2017
• Hernandez, Jasmin. "This Necessary New Exhibition Highlights the Activism of Black Female Artists." [Interview with Rujeko Hockley] "Elle" 3 May 2017.

Item Number


Item sets