Heart Of The Race - Still Relevant Today!!

Heart of the Race; Black Women’s Lives in Britain by Beverly Bryan, Stella Dadzie and Suzanne Sacfe is a book that recounts the history of the Black British women’s movement in the UK. It was first published in 1985 and has recently been republished by Verso with a foreword by journalist and teacher Lola Okolosie and afterword that contains an interview with the authors by Verso. As core members of activist groups throughout the seventies and eighties, the authors chart the creation of autonomous black women’s groups which sought to address the specific conditions of the lives of black women. They explore the central concerns of groups like OWAAD (The Organisation of Women of African and Asian Descent) founded in 1978 and the Brixton Black Women’s Group and their campaigns around education, childcare provision, the police, the state and reproductive justice. The authors sought to memorialise their experiences as grassroots organisers and ensure that their work was not lost in the attempt to form a linear history of women’s work in the UK. The book highlights the Black Power, anti-imperialist movements that were foundational in tackling SUS Laws, racist immigration policies, the formation of the UK Race Relations Act (1965) as well as paving the way for community book shops like New Beacon. The authors highlight how a lot of this work was coordinated and sustained by black women; they explore the rifts and tensions and reactions to their organising from the mainstream feminist movement and Black Power groups.

Read More