Fire Dreams: Making Black Feminist Liberation in the South

Regular price $ 29.95

by Laura McTighe, with Women With A Vision

Duke University Press

3/5/2024, paperback

SKU: 9781478025542


For thirty-five years, the New Orleans-based Black feminist collective Women With A Vision (WWAV) has fought for the liberation of their communities through reproductive justice, harm reduction, abolition feminism, racial justice, and sex workers' rights. In 2012, shortly after one of WWAV's biggest organizing victories, arsonists firebombed and destroyed their headquarters. 

Fire Dreams is an innovative collaboration between WWAV and Laura McTighe, who work in community to build a social movement ethnography of the organization's post-arson rebirth. Rooting WWAV in the geography of the South and the living history of generations of Black feminist thinkers, McTighe and WWAV weave together stories from their founders' pioneering work during the Black HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s and their groundbreaking organizing to end criminalization in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina---with other movements for liberation as accomplices. Together, the authors refuse the logics of racial capitalism and share WWAV's own world-building knowledges, as well as their methods for living these Black feminist futures now. Fire Dreams is a vital toolkit for grassroots organizers, activist-scholars, and all those who dream to make the world otherwise.

With a foreword by Deon Haywood.


"When fighting the amassed forces of injustice, our oppressors must remember that fire burns and fire also replenishes. The inspiring story of Deon Haywood and Women With A Vision recounts how nothing can quench the determination of people demanding freedom, and nothing can quell the passion of those who have committed their lives to justice and human rights. These warrior goddesses are fierce and loving in this wonderfully moving story told with Laura McTighe. This is essential reading for those of us learning to be fearless in the service of our people." -- Loretta J. Ross, activist, author, and MacArthur fellow

"Unapologetically rooted in experiences and visions of Black women and trans people living at the intersections of multiple interlocking oppressions, drawing on thirty-five years of fierce Black feminist resistance to abandonment of Black HIV-affected women, the war on drugs, and criminalization of sexual and reproductive autonomy, and consistently centering Black women's dignity, self-determination, and cultures of care, Fire Dreams illuminates what Black feminism in action looks like and shines essential light from the South on the path forward in this moment." -- Andrea J. Ritchie, cofounder of Interrupting Criminalization and coauthor of No More Police: A Case for Abolition

About the Contributors:

Laura McTighe is Assistant Professor of Religion at Florida State University and the Cofounder of Women With A Vision's research arm, Front Porch Research Strategy in New Orleans.

Deon Haywood is Executive Director of Women With A Vision, a New Orleans-based organization that has organized for Black feminist liberation in the South for decades.