The Truth That Never Hurts by Barbara Smith
Writings on Race, Gender, and Freedom (Lesbian & Gay Studies)

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This work brings together more than two decades of literary criticism and political thought about gender, race, sexuality, power and social change. As one of the first writers in the United States to claim black feminism for black women in the early 1970s, Barbara Smith's work has been groundbreaking in defining a black women's literary tradition; in examining the sexual politics of the lives of black and other women of colour; in representing the lives of black lesbians and gay men; and in making connections between race, class, sexuality and gender. Smith's essay "Toward a Black Feminist Criticism", is often cited as a major catalyst in opening the field of black women's literature. This essay also presented the first serious discussion of black lesbian writing. Essays about racism in the women's movement, black and Jewish relations, and homophobia in the black community have ignited dialogue about topics that few other writers address. The collection also brings together topical political commentaries that examine the 1968 Chicago convention demonstrations; attacks on the NEA; the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas Senate hearings; and police brutality against Rodney King and Abner Louima. It also includes a never before published personal essay on racial violence, the day-to-day life of Kitchen Table Press and the bonds between black women that make it possible to survive. Smith's writing offers a rare combination of intellectual challenge and an accessible personal voice. Her commitment to telling the truth about difficult, even volatile issues, makes a unique contribution to American literature and social thought.

About Barbara Smith

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Barbara Smith is the host of her own half-hour nationally syndicated television series, B. Smith with Style, and appears regularly as a lifestyle expert on NBC's Today show. She is the owner of three B. Smith's restaurants in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Sag Harbor, Long Island. Her new magazine, B. Smith Style, will be available on newsstands this fall. She lives with her husband, Dan Gasby, a television producer, and her step-daughter, Dana, in New York City and Sag Harbor.
Published August 1, 2000 by Rutgers University Press. 240 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Gay & Lesbian, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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In one of her most influential essays, “Toward a Black Feminist Criticism,” written in 1977, Smith, contending that “black women writers constitute an identifiable literary tradition,” pleads for a black feminist approach toward examining literature.

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A feminist writer and theorist of some repute, Smith founded Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press with the late ""black lesbian mother warrior feminist poet"" Audre Lorde, and was the first woman of color appointed to the Modern Language Association's Commission on the Status of Women in the Profe...

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