Skip to main content

Nkenge Touré interviewed by Loretta J. Ross, December 4-5, 2004 and March 23, 2005

 File — Box: 59
Link to transcript of Nkenge Touré interview
Link to transcript of Nkenge Touré interview
Link to video
Link to video

Scope and Contents

In this oral history, Touré recalls her childhood in public housing projects and her high school activism against institutionalized racism. She details the organizational structure and gender dynamics of the Black Panther Party and describes her transition into black feminist activism in the 1970s. She recounts the challenges of simultaneously promoting a broad anti-violence agenda within the anti-rape movement while asserting women's rights within nationalist politics. Touré's story captures the personal and political struggles of advancing revolutionary black feminism. (Transcript 108 pp.)

Dates of Materials

  • December 4-5, 2004 and March 23, 2005


Conditions Governing Web Access

At the direction of the narrator, the recording of this interview may only be placed on the web if access is restricted to the Smith College community. Please consult with special collections staff at to inquire about the existence of or access to digital copies. The interviewer and narrator for this interview have agreed that the transcript may be placed on the web.

Conditions Governing Access

This interview is open for research use without restriction.

Conditions Governing Use

The interviewer and narrator have transferred copyright of this interview to Smith College.

Biographical / Historical

Born in 1951, Anita Stroud grew up the oldest of three children in a female-headed household in public housing in Baltimore. As a teen in the late 1960s, she helped start and lead an underground student group, The Black Voice, to protest institutionalized racism at her high school. She also became a community worker with the Black Panther Party. This activism cost her a high school diploma. She married John Wesley Stevens, a Party member, and they took the names Nkenge and Patrice Touré. They had two daughters before the marriage ended in 1979.

Touré left the Party in the early 1970s and moved to Washington, D.C. After briefly running a group called Save the People, she joined the staff of the D.C. Rape Crisis Center. As general administrator and director of community education at the Center for 13 years, Touré became a pioneer in anti-rape organizing and a champion of addressing all forms of violence against women: psychological, cultural, racial, economic, state, physical, and sexual. At the same time, as a co-founder of the Women's Section of the National Black United Front, she was defending women's rights within nationalist politics. Through the D.C. Study Group, a Marxist-Leninist group, and the City Wide Housing Coalition, she was also involved in anti-apartheid and tenant organizing. In 1982, she and Loretta Ross co-founded the International Council of African Women (ICAW) to prepare African American women to participate in the 1985 United Nations Women's Conference in Nairobi.

Since leaving the Rape Crisis Center in 1988, Touré has hosted and produced In Our Voices, a public affairs radio program on WPFW as a forum for women's perspectives. She also works with substance abusers and others affected by HIV and AIDS, and she is active in the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective.

Language of Materials