by Selma James
For over sixty years, Selma James has been organizing from the perspective of unwaged women who, with their biological and caring work, reproduce the whole human race—along with whatever other labor they are performing. This work goes on almost unnoticed everywhere on the planet and in every culture. When this work is not economically prioritized, politically protected, or socially supported there are dire consequences for the whole of humanity, beginning with women and children.
This much-anticipated follow-up to her first anthology, Sex, Race, and Class, compiles several decades of James’s work with a focus on her more recent writings, including a groundbreaking analysis of C.L.R. James’s two masterpieces, The Black Jacobins and Beyond a Boundary, and an account of her formative partnership with him over three decades. Her experience with the Caribbean movement for independence and federation is reflected in her introduction to Ujamaa, the extraordinary work of Tanzanians to bypass capitalism, and much more.
Steeped in the tradition of Marx urging the need for a “practical movement,” James recounts the unusual history of how autonomous organizations formed within the International Wages for Housework Campaign and reshaped it. Women of color, queer women, sex workers, women with disabilities . . . each independent but mutually accountable (including to the men’s network with whom they work) as they confront sexism, racism, deportation, rape, and other violence.
James makes the powerful argument that the climate justice movement can draw on all the movements’ people have formed to refuse their particular exploitation, to end the capitalist hierarchy that is destroying the world. Our time is now.
“In an era where women are encouraged to ‘lean in’ to capitalism and power, Sex, Race and Class provides a much-needed reminder that house work and care work are work—and deserve to be recognized and compensated as such. James not only details women’s campaigns that might otherwise be forgotten, but provides a valuable blueprint for organizing towards a truly liberated society.” —Victoria Law, author of Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women and "Prisons Make Us Safer": And 20 Other Myths about Mass Incarceration.
“Selma James is a treasure . . . one of the key political thinkers and activists of our times.” —Marcus Rediker, author of The Slave Ship
About the Author:
Selma James is a women's rights and antiracist campaigner and author. She cofounded the International Wages for Housework Campaign and helped launch the Global Women's Strike. She was the first spokeswoman of the English Collective of Prostitutes and is a founding member of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network. She coauthored the classic The Power of Women and the Subversion of the Community.