Fire Dreams: Making Black Feminist Liberation in the South

Duke Univ. Mar. 2024. 343p. ISBN 9781478020806. $109.95. SOC SCI
The story begins in New Orleans in 1989, when a group of Black women activists, to address the HIV epidemic in their neighborhoods, repurposed an RV into a gathering space and birthed an organization, Women with a Vision (WWAV), devoted to abolition, feminism, harm reduction, sex work decriminalization, and reproductive justice and to sharing their community with people who are often viewed as problems. McTighe (religion, Florida State Univ.), writing this book with her research partners at WWAV, illustrates the group’s still active “front porch” discourse, through which participants brainstorm, for example, strategies to better support Black cisgender women and transgender people working in New Orleans’s street-based economies. WWAV encourages skin-in-the-game accomplices rather than nominal allies. Although the book’s language can become leaden with repetitive academic jargon, using phrases such as “interlocking systems,” the lessons it offers are critical.
VERDICT WWAV’s experiences serve as an exemplar of Black women organizing in the South. Highly recommended for readers interested in grassroots activism and community organizing.
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