Episode 3: Identity Politics Re-rooted

Identity Politics Re-rooted


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Episode Notes

What is “identity politics” and where does this term come from? In this episode, Crystal and Krystal go deeper into the work of the Combahee River Collective and examine its impactful 1977 statement outlining the key elements of Black feminist thought. We hear more from Black Feminism foremother Barbara Smith on how the statement was written and guests Drs. Brittney Cooper, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, and Duchess Harris on the meaning of identity politics as the Combahee River Collective articulated it.

Illustration (above) by Melitas/Shutterstock.com.

Production Credit

The podcast is produced in partnership with Smithsonian Enterprises Digital. Our production team is Jenna Hanchard, Taylor Polydore, Ann Conanan, and Alana Gomez. Special thanks to Dr. Modupe Labode and Dr. Tony Perry.


Smith, Barbara. “Toward a Black Feminist Criticism,” The Radical Teacher no. 7 (March 1978). 

BlackPast, The Combahee River Collective Statement (1977) BlackPast.org. November 16, 2012. https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/combahee-river-collective-statement-1977.  

Taylor, Keeanga-Yamahtta. How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2017. 

--. “Until Black Women are Free, None of us Will be Free: Barbara Smith and the Black Feminist Visionaries of the Combahee River Collective,” The New Yorker, July 20, 2020. https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/until-black-women-are-free-none-of-us-will-be-free.

Because of Her StoryCollected is funded by the Smithsonian American Women's History Initiative and the National Museum of American History.