Freedomways Reader: Prophets in Their Own Country

By Esther Cooper Jackson; Constance Pohl | Go to book overview
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Moving North


In the late 1960s, some civil rights activists shifted their focus from desegregation in the South to problems of discrimination around the country. The subjects of the articles included in this section reflect some of this change.

Women's equality deserves special mention, for the women who sustained Freedomways were pioneers in that area of human rights. Black women were the heart of the collective that produced Freedomways for 25 years. Shirley Graham Du Bois, Augusta Strong, Jean Carey Bond, and Ruby Dee were present at the birth of the journal, and later women like Alice Walker and Angela Davis joined them as contributing editors. The magazine introduced readers to new Black women poets, such as Audre Lorde, Nikki Giovanni, Alice Walker, and June Jordan, as well as more established writers, like Gwendolyn Brooks. Jean Carey Bond edited the special issue devoted to the play- wright Lorraine Hansberry. (Many of these works appear in Part 6, Culture and the Cause of Black Freedom.)

Augusta Strong wrote about Black women in freedom's struggles, an excerpt of which is included in this section. In another of her articles, "Southern Youth's Proud Heritage" (see Part 1), Strong tells of the role of women in the Southern Negro Youth Congress.


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