Praise and Press

Praise for Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around

“Barbara Smith is one of the grand pioneering and prophetic voices of our time. Her truth still hurts and heals!” Cornel West

“This book is a tour de force that documents the life’s work of Barbara Smith and the freedom struggles she shaped.” Duchess Harris, author of Black Feminist Politics from Kennedy to Obama

“Barbara Smith is a creator of modern feminism as a writer, organizer, editor, publisher, and scholar. Now she has added to her decades as an activist outside the system by becoming an elected official who truly listens, represents, and creates bridges to a common good. She has shown us that democracy is a seed that can only be planted where we are.” Gloria Steinem

Barbara Steinem testimonial

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Awards

• Harriet Tubman Lifetime Achievement Award. Presented by the African American Policy Forum, June 2017
Susan J. Hyde Award for Longevity in the Movement. Presented by the National LGBTQ Task Force, January 2016
• 2015 Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Memoir/Biography
. Presented by the Lambda Literary Foundation, May 2015
• Honorary Doctorate Degree. Awarded by the University at Albany, May 2015
• Women of Excellence Award for Distinguished Career. Presented by the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce and Women’s Business Council, May 2015
2014 Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction. Presented by the Publishing Triangle, April 2015
• 2014 IndieFab Book of the Year Award in Women’s Studies – silver winner. Presented by ForeWord June 2015
Harvey Milk Award. Presented by the Pride Center of the Capital Region, June 2014

From the Judy Grahn Award ceremony remarks by Michele Karlsberg, on behalf of the selection committee:
“A profound and timely retrospective of the work of Barbara Smith, Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around features a host of well-known writers in conversation with Smith, underscoring her insistence on solving community problems not as individuals but as groups and coalitions. Enhancing these multivocal conversations are photographs and documents demonstrating Smith’s lifelong efforts to create, in both theory and practice, an array of responses to oppressive circumstances—ranging from Black women’s studies to the Combahee River Collective and Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press. The book also expresses her resolve never to treat any one aspect of identity as central while relegating others to the periphery. Sophisticated yet accessible, Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around shows us the heart of this dedicated, brilliant activist.”

From the National LGBTQ Task Force remarks regarding the Susan J. Hyde Award for Longevity in the Movement:
“Barbara Smith, an organizer, writer, publisher, scholar-activist, and elected official, dedicates herself to multiple social justice movements, including Civil Rights, feminism, LGBTQ liberation, anti-racism and Black feminism. In four decades of grassroots activism, Barbara has forged collaborations that introduced the concept that oppression must be fought on a variety of fronts simultaneously, including gender, race, class, and sexuality. In 1974, Smith co-founded the Combahee River Collective that produced the Combahee River Collective Statement (1977). Combahee organized around reproductive rights, rape, prison reform, sterilization abuse, violence against women, health care, and racism within the white women’s movement. In 1980, Barbara Smith founded Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press. Kitchen Table published several texts that galvanized feminists of color, such as Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology, This Bridge Called My Back, Cuentos: Stories by Latinas, and I Am Your Sister: Black Women Organizing Across Sexualities. Her writings are collected in the anthology The Truth That Never Hurts: Writings on Race, Gender, and Freedom. Her latest book, Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: Forty Years of Movement Building with Barbara Smith (SUNY Press, 2014), uniquely combines hard-to-find historical documents with new unpublished interviews with fellow activists and scholars to provide an essential primer for practicing solidarity and resistance. Barbara Smith served two terms on the Albany (NY) Common Council, advocating for youth development, violence prevention, and educational opportunities for poor, minority people.”

Media

•  Women’s Media Center Live with Robin Morgan
July 22, 2017
Robin Morgan speaks with Barbara Smith about her four decades of activism—and what’s next. [Begins at 33:10]

•  International Day of Action
March 8, 2017
Barbara Smith is among the organizers of The International Women’s Strike

• “God Don’t Like Ugly and She’s Not Too Stuck on Pretty Either: Black Feminist Ethical Perspectives for These Times
February 2, 2017
Barbara Smith delivered the keynote address at the Williams College 2017 Claiming Williams event.

INFORUM and SF Pride Presents Black Lives Matter and the LGBTQI Community Forum
June 20, 2016
Barbara Smith moderates a panel on Black Lives Matter and The LGBTQI Community Forum presented by INFORUM and SF Pride. The panel was a celebration of San Francisco’s LGBT history and a discussion about SF Pride’s theme “For Racial and Economic Justice.” Panelists include: Alicia Garza, Darnell Moore, and Aria Sa’id.

Feminist Poetics: Legacies of June Jordan
March 25, 2016
The University of Massachusetts-Amherst hosted the first ever Combahee River Collective reunion. A panel titled Inside the Continuum: The Combahee River Collective and Black Feminist Foundations was included as part of Feminist Poetics: Legacies of June Jordan, a symposium celebrating the work of feminist poet, scholar and activist June Jordan, and her legacies in contemporary feminist poetics. The event was live-streamed for a national audience. The Combahee panel begins at 4:13:50 in the linked video. Sharing the symposium stage: Cheryl Clarke, Demita Frazier, Akasha Gloria Hull, Margo Okazawa-Rey, Sharon Page Ritchie, Barbara Smith
Moderator: Paula Giddings

WAMC’s The Roundtable
March 11, 2016
Barbara Smith joins hosts Joe Donahue every Friday morning from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. ET on WAMC’s The Roundtable, an award-winning, nationally recognized eclectic talk program.

WAMC’s The Roundtable
March 4, 2016
Barbara Smith joins hosts Joe Donahue every Friday morning from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. ET on WAMC’s The Roundtable, an award-winning, nationally recognized eclectic talk program.

WAMC’s The Roundtable
February 26, 2016
Barbara Smith joins hosts Joe Donahue every Friday morning from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. ET on WAMC’s The Roundtable, an award-winning, nationally recognized eclectic talk program.

WAMC’s The Roundtable
February 19, 2016
Barbara Smith joins hosts Joe Donahue every Friday morning from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. ET on WAMC’s The Roundtable, an award-winning, nationally recognized eclectic talk program.

WAMC’s The Roundtable
February 12, 2016
Barbara Smith joins hosts Joe Donahue every Friday morning from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. ET on WAMC’s The Roundtable, an award-winning, nationally recognized eclectic talk program.

WAMC’s The Roundtable
February 5, 2016
Barbara Smith joins hosts Joe Donahue every Friday morning from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. ET on WAMC’s The Roundtable, an award-winning, nationally recognized eclectic talk program.

WAMC’s The Roundtable
January 29, 2016
Barbara Smith joins hosts Joe Donahue every Friday morning from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. ET on WAMC’s The Roundtable, an award-winning, nationally recognized eclectic talk program.

Black Feminism and the Movement for Black Lives
January 21, 2016
Plenary panel at Creating Change 2016 Conference, National LGBTQ Task Force
Chicago, Illinois
Barbara Smith, Reina Gossett, and Charlene Carruthers
Black Feminism remains a foundational theory and practice guiding social justice movements for Black lives. Black Feminism challenges us to act on the inextricable connections of sexism, class oppression, racism, ableism, homophobia and transphobia. As the contemporary Movement for Black Lives has invigorated resistance to racism and structural violence, this panel reflects on ways that Black Feminism shapes and informs the current struggles and successes.

WAMC’s The Roundtable
January 22, 2016
Barbara Smith joins hosts Joe Donahue every Friday morning from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. ET on WAMC’s The Roundtable, an award-winning, nationally recognized eclectic talk program.

WAMC’s The Roundtable
January 15, 2016
Barbara Smith joins hosts Joe Donahue every Friday morning from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. ET on WAMC’s The Roundtable, an award-winning, nationally recognized eclectic talk program.

WAMC’s The Roundtable
January 8, 2016
Barbara Smith joins hosts Joe Donahue every Friday morning from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. ET on WAMC’s The Roundtable, an award-winning, nationally recognized eclectic talk program.

WAMC’s The Roundtable
December 18, 2015
Barbara Smith joins hosts Joe Donahue every Friday morning from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. ET on WAMC’s The Roundtable, an award-winning, nationally recognized eclectic talk program.

WAMC’s The Roundtable
December 11, 2015
Barbara Smith joins hosts Joe Donahue every Friday morning from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. ET on WAMC’s The Roundtable, an award-winning, nationally recognized eclectic talk program.

WAMC’s The Roundtable
December 4, 2015
Barbara Smith joins hosts Joe Donahue every Friday morning from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. ET on WAMC’s The Roundtable, an award-winning, nationally recognized eclectic talk program.

WAMC’s The Roundtable
December 1, 2015
Barbara Smith joins hosts Joe Donahue every Friday morning from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. ET on WAMC’s The Roundtable, an award-winning, nationally recognized eclectic talk program.

WAMC’s The Roundtable
November 20, 2015
Barbara Smith joins hosts Joe Donahue every Friday morning from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. ET on WAMC’s The Roundtable, an award-winning, nationally recognized eclectic talk program.

WAMC’s The Roundtable
November 13, 2015
Barbara Smith joins hosts Joe Donahue every Friday morning from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. ET on WAMC’s The Roundtable, an award-winning, nationally recognized eclectic talk program.

WAMC’s The Roundtable
November 6, 2015
Barbara Smith joins hosts Joe Donahue every Friday morning from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. ET on WAMC’s The Roundtable, an award-winning, nationally recognized eclectic talk program.

WAMC’s The Roundtable
October 30, 2015
Barbara Smith joins hosts Joe Donahue every Friday morning from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. ET on WAMC’s The Roundtable, an award-winning, nationally recognized eclectic talk program.

WAMC’s The Roundtable
October 23, 2015
Barbara Smith joins hosts Joe Donahue every Friday morning from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. ET on WAMC’s The Roundtable, an award-winning, nationally recognized eclectic talk program.

WAMC’s The Roundtable
October 16, 2015
Barbara Smith joins hosts Joe Donahue every Friday morning from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. ET on WAMC’s The Roundtable, an award-winning, nationally recognized eclectic talk program.

WAMC’s The Roundtable
October 2, 2015
Barbara Smith joins hosts Joe Donahue every Friday morning from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. ET on WAMC’s The Roundtable, an award-winning, nationally recognized eclectic talk program.

WAMC’s The Roundtable
May 18, 2015
Joe Donahue hosts WAMC’s The Roundtable Panel. Barbara Smith joins panelists WAMC’s Alan Chartock and political consultant and lobbyist Libby Post to discuss recent ISIS takeovers, Marco Rubio’s stance on Iraq, Jeb Bush’s position of same-sex marriage, a biker gang shooting, and the Boston bomber death penalty ruling.

WAMC’s The Roundtable
May 15, 2015
Joe Donahue hosts WAMC’s The Roundtable Panel. Barbara Smith joins panelists WAMC’s Alan Chartock and newsman Ray Graf to discuss the Amtrak crash inquiry, Jeb Bush’s stance on Iraq, WWI vet Henry Johnson’s receipt of the Medal of Honor, Governor Cuomo’s Job Creation Program, and George Stephanopoulos’ gifts to the Clinton Foundation.

WAMC’s The Roundtable
May 5, 2015
Joe Donahue hosts WAMC’s The Roundtable Panel. Barbara Smith joins panelists WAMC’s Alan Chartock and Associate Editor of the Times Union Mike Spain to discuss the Dean Skelos arrest, Obama’s Minority Initiative, race relations poll, Fox News coverage of Baltimore, and Marine General Joseph F. Dunford Jr.’s nomination for chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

WAMC’s The Roundtable
April 29, 2015
Joe Donahue hosts WAMC’s The Roundtable Panel. Barbara Smith joins panelists WAMC’s Alan Chartock and political consultant Libby Post to discuss an update on activities in Baltimore, the SCOTUS gay marriage case, Bernie Sanders running for president, and news on Nepal.

WAMC’s The Roundtable
April 21, 2015
Joe Donahue hosts WAMC’s The Roundtable Panel. Barbara Smith joins panelists WAMC’s Alan Chartock and SUNY at Albany journalism professor and investigative journalist, Rosemary Armao to discuss the EU migrant crisis, Baltimore Rising, breast cancer statistics, standardized testing, and the 2015 Pulitzer Prizes.

So Popular! with Janet Mock
March 27, 2015
Janet Mock sits down with one of the women behind America’s black feminist movement to discuss her new book, her decades-long career, and her favorite pop culture obsession, Cookie on FOX’s “Empire.”

Identity Politics: A Foundation for Coalition Building, Panel Discussion at the Murphy Institute
March 13, 2015
Barbara Smith argues that “identity politics”— rather than presenting an obstacle to forming coalitions for social and economic justice – offer an essential foundation for such coalitions.
Panelists:
Barbara Smith (Black feminist organizer and author)
Joo-Hyun Kang (Spokesperson for Communities United for Police Reform)
Gerry Hudson (Executive Vice President of Service Employees International Union)
Moderator:
Alethia Jones (1199SEIU UHWE Education Director)
Introductions and Remarks:
Chirlane McCray (First Lady of NYC) introduces Barbara Smith.
George Gresham (President of 1199SEIU UHWE) opens the panel.

WAMC’s The Roundtable
March 10, 2015
Joe Donahue hosts WAMC’s The Roundtable Panel. Barbara Smith joins panelists WAMC’s Alan Chartock and SUNY at Albany journalism professor and investigative journalist, Rosemary Armao to discuss recent racism charges against a University of Oklahoma college fraternity, the justice system and Ferguson, President Obama’s speech in Selma and more.

WAMC’s Alan Chartock in Conversation with Author, Activist and Independent Scholar Barbara Smith
February 26, 2015
Barbara Smith in conversation with WAMC’s Alan Chartock about pursuing education in the context of liberation struggles and building Black feminism in the United States. Barbara and Alan talk about the contemporary movement against mass incarceration, life as a public official, and the role of hope in envisioning a just future.

Melissa Harris Perry Show on MSNBC
December 13, 2014
Barbara Smith visits Nerdland!

What it takes to build a movement
Frances Fox Piven, Vince Warren, Barbara Smith and Carmen Perez talks about what it takes to build a sustainable movement and the role of police in galvanizing the energy of protesters in a movement.

LGBT activists gear up the next battle
As the racial justice movement to end police violence continues to gain momentum, the LGBT rights movement has turned its attention to a new front in the fight for LGBT equality. Frances Fox Piven, Vince Warren, Barbara Smith and Carmen Perez join to discuss the intersection of the racial justice, feminist and LGBT rights movements.

March against police violence underway in DC
Trymaine Lee reports from the march against police violence in Washington, DC. Frances Fox Piven, Vince Warren, Barbara Smith and Carmen Perez talk about the effectiveness of the protest strategies being used by activists in the demonstrations against no indictment decisions in the case of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.

WAMC’s The Roundtable
November 19, 2014
Listen to Barbara Smith talk with Joe Donahue of WAMC’s The Roundtable about organizing in the Capitol Region, the experience of serving as an elected official, and the importance of communicating social justice issues over time.

WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom
November 17, 2014
Barbara Smith and Susan Arbetter of WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom continue their ongoing conversations about race, the multiple social movements of the 1960s and 1970s in the U.S., and Barbara’s early life as an activist.

Makers: Women Who Make America
2012
Hear from Barbara as she is featured in “Makers: Women Who Make America,” a PBS and AOL multiplatform initiative that profiles distinguished women in all walks of life who have transformed the nation.

Press

Authors Of Combahee River Statement, Which Profoundly Influenced Black Feminism, Mark 40th Anniversary
Kevin Gosztola
July 10, 2017

The New York Times – Race/Related
Barbara Smith, et al.
April 2, 2017

Women’s Review of Books – Gender, Race, and Generations: A Roundtable Discussion
Barbara Smith, et al.
March/April 2017

WAMC.org – When Women Lead: Public Discussion at Albany City Hall 
Dave Lucas
March 28, 2017

The Huffington Post – As a Black Woman, Here’s Why I’m Striking on March 8th
Barbara Smith
March 2, 2017

Curve – Barbara Smith is Making a Stand

Marcie Bianco
January 3, 2017

Cyborgology – Intersectionality as a Technology
David Banks
June 15, 2016

Blavity – Herstory is Queer: 24 women to be celebrated during women’s history month
Kiara Collins
March 18, 2016

AARP – Boomers Turn 70
Bill Newcott
January 2016

Albany Times Union – Great Local Mind: Barbara Smith
October 29, 2015

BuzzFeed LGBT – The Black Lesbian Writers You Need to Be Reading
Lisa C. Moore
July 28, 2015

GO Magazine – 100 Women We Love
Gena Hymowech, Sharyn Jackson and Kat Long
June 11, 2015

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly – The Female Gaze: Books
Spring 2015

Albany Times Union – Women of Excellence 2015
Brianna Synder
April 22, 2015

The Advocate – 18 Must-Read LGBT Books
Diane Anderson-Minshall
April 6, 2015

Broad Recognition – Building Black Feminism: A Master’s Tea with Barbara Smith
Laura Goetz
March 28, 2015

The Seattle Lesbian – Lambda Literary Finalists Include Sean Strub, Barbara Smith, Kelly Cogswell
Carmen Rios
March 5, 2015

Windy City Times – Lesbian Feminist Barbara Smith Remains Focused
Download the article as a PDF from the Windy City Times website.
Sarah Toce
February 11, 2015

Autostraddle Rebel Girls: Why you Need Barbara Smith and “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around”
Carmen Rios
January 21, 2015

Chronogram – Book Reviews: Short Takes for January 2015
January 21, 2015

The Advocate reruns Barbara’s essay Soul on Hold (1985)
Barbara Smith
January 2, 2015

Times Union – Round Up of Books of Local Interest
Elizabeth Floyd Mair
December 18, 2014

Autostraddle This Shit Has Got to Change
A conversation with Hannah Hodson.
December 16, 2014

San Francisco Book Review
Kevin Winter
December 2, 2014

EDGE Media Network
Winnie McCroy
November 24, 2014

The Seattle Lesbian
November 13, 2014

commUNITY
The Pride Center of the Capital District names Barbara Smith as the 2014 Harvey Milk Award winner.
October 2014

Ebony -Black, Feminist, Revolutionary: Remembering the Combahee River Collective
Keisha Price
April 21, 201

Times Union – She’s Barbara Smith, Mover and ‘Maker’
Talking with Albany’s Paul Grondahl
April 5, 2012

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