by Treva B. Lindsey
University of California Press
A powerful account of violence against Black women and girls in the United States and their fight for liberation.
America, Goddam explores the combined force of anti-Blackness, misogyny, patriarchy, and capitalism in the lives of Black women and girls in the United States today. Through personal accounts and hard-hitting analysis, Black feminist historian Treva B. Lindsey starkly assesses the forms and legacies of violence against Black women and girls, as well as their demands for justice for themselves and their communities. America, Goddam powerfully demonstrates that the struggle for justice begins with reckoning with the pervasiveness of violence against Black women and girls in the United States.
Combining history, theory, and memoir, America, Goddam renders visible the gender dynamics of anti-Black violence. Black women and girls occupy a unique status of vulnerability to harm and death, while the circumstances and traumas of this violence go underreported and understudied. Lindsey also shows that the sanctity of life and liberty for Black men has been a galvanizing rallying cry within Black freedom movements. But Black women -- who have been both victims of anti-Black violence as well as frontline participants in it, and quite often architects of these freedom movements -- are rarely the focus. Black women have led movements demanding justice for Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, Toyin Salau, Riah Milton, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, and countless other Black women and girls whose lives have been curtailed by numerous forms of violence. Across generations and centuries, their refusal to remain silent about violence against them led many to envisioning and building toward Black liberation through organizing and radical politics. Echoing the energy of Nina Simone's searing protest song that inspired the title, America, Goddam is a call to action in our collective journey toward just futures.
"America, Goddam is a brilliant and powerful book. With scholarly rigor and refreshing clarity, Treva B. Lindsey breaks down the various forms of violence that Black women and girls have been forced to negotiate in the United States. While theoretically rich and historically grounded, this book is also a deeply personal and beautifully vulnerable testimony. Everyone who reads this text will be informed, challenged, inspired, and energized." -- Tarana Burke, author of Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement
"America, Goddam is an impeccably researched and intensely told history of the terror, of the violence, of the dehumanization Black women and girls have faced, battled, and resisted. It gripped me, shocked me, angered me, enlightened me, moved me, transformed me. We are better because of this book." -- Ibram X. Kendi, author of Stamped from the Beginning and How to Be an Antiracist
"America, Goddam is the book we have been waiting for. A trenchant examination of the history and consequence of the particular overlap of anti-Blackness and misogyny -- misogynoir -- that has worked to undermine the life chances of all working-class and poor Black women. Unraveling easy narratives about progress and change in American history, America, Goddam's focus on twenty-first-century iterations of the oppression and exploitation of Black women highlights both continuity and change. Treva Lindsey provides the historical and analytical tools necessary to make sense of the endless media and scholastic narratives of abuse and neglect in the coverage of Black women's stories. With extraordinary insight and elemental passion, America, Goddam is a critical contribution to the evolving cannon of Black feminist texts and scholarship." -- Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, author of How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective and From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation
"Written with insight, care, and verve, American, Goddam provides piercing insight into present-day movements including #BlackLives Matter, #SayHerName, and #MeToo. Lindsey's voice orients us to the book's concerns through the lens of her own life experiences, making clear that America, Goddam achieves its effect through a brilliant and unbounded sense of how we can and should arrive at understandings about the origins, forces, and possibilities for resisting violence." -- Martha S. Jones, author of Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All
About the Author:
Treva B. Lindsey is Associate Professor in the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department at Ohio State University and founder of the Transformative Black Feminism(s) Initiative in Columbus, Ohio.