Black Women Taught Us: An Intimate History of Black Feminism

Regular price $ 30.00

by Jenn M. Jackson, PhD

Random House

1/23/2024, hardcover

SKU: 9780593243336


A reclamation of essential history and a hopeful gesture toward a better political future, this is what listening to Black women looks like--from a professor of political science and columnist for Teen Vogue.

This is my offering. My love letter to them, and to us.

Jenn M. Jackson, PhD, has been known to bring historical acuity to some of the most controversial topics in America today. Now, in their first book, Jackson applies their critical analysis to the questions that have long energized their work: Why has Black women's freedom fighting been so overlooked throughout history, and what has our society lost because of our refusal to engage with our forestrugglers' lessons? 

A love letter to those who have been minimized and forgotten, this collection repositions Black women's intellectual and political work at the center of today's liberation movements. 

Across eleven original essays that explore the legacy of Black women writers and leaders--from Harriet Jacobs and Ida B. Wells to the Combahee River Collective and Audre Lorde--Jackson sets the record straight about Black women's longtime movement organizing, theorizing, and coalition building in the name of racial, gender, and sexual justice in the United States and abroad. These essays show, in both critical and deeply personal terms, how Black women have been at the center of modern liberation movements despite the erasure and misrecognition of their efforts. Jackson illustrates how Black women have frequently done the work of liberation at great risk to their lives and livelihoods. 

For a new generation of movement organizers and co-strugglers, Black Women Taught Us serves as a reminder that Black women were the first ones to teach us how to fight racism, how to name that fight, and how to imagine a more just world for everyone.


"Black Women Taught Us is a powerful and hopeful love letter to the Black feminist thinkers, writers, activists, and organizers who have fought for our liberation. It is an essential, life affirming text." --George M. Johnson, author of All Boys Aren't Blue

"Jenn M. Jackson is a beautiful writer and excellent scholar. In this book, they pay tribute to generations of Black women organizers and set forward a bold and courageous blueprint for our collective liberation."--Imani Perry, author of South to America

"Jackson's love letter to Black women and girls, past, present, and future, is a balm for weary souls, a reclamation, a psalm, a grounding, centering, deeply erudite book that uses the intellectual legacy of Black feminists to remind us of the stuff we are made of. In a world deeply committed to ignoring, mishearing, and disregarding Black women, to forgetting them, this book will not let us forget. It demands we remember. And it buoys us, reminding us that in our quest for freedom, Black feminists have always known the way, or made one." --Brittney Cooper, author of Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower

About the Author:

Jenn M. Jackson, PhD, is an award-winning professor of political science at Syracuse University and a columnist for Teen Vogue, where they write the popular "Speak On It" column that "explores how today's social and political life is influenced by generations of racial and gender (dis)order." A queer genderflux androgynous Black woman, Jackson primary research is in Black Politics with a focus on Black Feminism, racial trauma and threat, gender and sexuality, and social movements. Black Women Taught Us is their first book.