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Third World Women's Alliance, Bay Area chapter records

 Collection
Identifier: SSC-MS-00697

Scope and Contents

The Third World Women's Alliance, Bay Area chapter records consist of 4.25 linear ft. and are primarily related to the West Coast and Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area Chapters of the organization. Types of materials include regional reports, committee and meeting minutes, political activities and events, and organization files.

The bulk of the records date from 1971 to 1977 and focus on regional reports and meetings, as well as events sponsored and organized by the TWWA, such as International Women's Day. Major topics found throughout these records are reproductive rights, infant mortality, political education, affirmative action, labor unions, international human rights, and women's liberation.

Dates

  • 1971-1980
  • Majority of material found within 1971-1977

Creator

Language of Materials

English

Conditions Governing Access

The Records are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection.

Conditions Governing Access

Until we move into New Neilson in early 2021, collections are stored in multiple locations and may take up to 48 hours to retrieve. Researchers are strongly encouraged to contact Special Collections (specialcollections@smith.edu) at least a week in advance of any planned visits so that boxes may be retrieved for them in a timely manner.

Conditions Governing Use

To the extent that they owns copyright, Third World Women's Alliance (TWWA)has assigned the copyright in their works to Smith College; however, copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For instances which may regard materials in the collection not created by Third World Women's Alliance (TWWA), researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Biographical / Historical

The Third World Women's Alliance (TWWA) operated from 1968-1980. It originated in New York as the Black Women's Liberation Committee (BWLC), which was a caucus of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and was created to address the issue of male chauvinism within the movement against racism. From there the BWLC evolved into the Black Woman's Alliance (BWA), independent from SNCC but maintaining close political ties with it. In 1970 the group's common work and dialogue with Puerto Rican women transformed the BWA into the TWWA. Frances M. Beal was a founding member of the BWLC, and stayed with the organization through its various incarnations until 1978. TWWA became bi-coastal in 1971 with the formation of TWAA-Bay Area.

The TWWA was one of several organizations formed by women of color in the late 1960s and early 1970s as responses to the essentialist theories of the early feminist movement. These organizations paved the way for Chicana feminism, Womanism, and Black feminism, among other theoretical approaches to feminism. TWWA broadened the scope of women's activism to address issues such as sterilization abuse, infant mortality, welfare rights, and low-wage work. Through its political activities, TWWA helped to create spaces in racial justice organizations for women's voices, issues and leadership. Although primarily an activist organization, concepts developed by TWWA's members in the course of political organization contributed much to feminist theory. TWWA's ideas of "double jeopardy" and "triple jeopardy" which were elaborated on by scholars as "simultaneity of oppression" and "both/and," advanced the understanding of the intersectionality of race, class, and gender in the women's movement. It also contributed to the experience of building "third world" and "black/brown" unity in opposing racism and sexism. The orientation of TWWA towards the "third world" brought the struggles, condition, and status of women in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East to the forefront. TWWA built relations with women's organizations in other countries, pioneering a form of feminism that focuses on the affect of U.S. foreign and military policy on women's lives worldwide, promoting the idea that U.S. women of color had a role to play in the "global sisterhood."

The TWWA-New York folded in 1977. In the same year the TWWA-Bay Area transformed itself into a mass activist organization, and began forming committees for external work. Committees formed during that period include the National Committee to Overturn the Bakke Decision, the Southern Africa Organizing Committee, the Josina Machel Committee and the Coalition to Fight Infant Mortality. By 1979 the TWWA re-organized to become the Alliance Against Women's Oppression (AAWO). The AAWO existed from 1980 -1989, and then took new form again as the Women of Color Resource Center.

Extent

7 boxes (3.5 linear feet)

Overview

Global women of color reproductive rights and social justice organization. TWWA broadened the scope of women's activism to address issues such as sterilization abuse, infant mortality, welfare rights, and low-wage work. The orientation of TWWA towards the "third world" brought the struggles, condition, and status of women in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East to the forefront. The bulk of the records focus on the the West Coast and Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area Chapters of the organization and include regional reports and meetings, as well as events sponsored and organized by the TWWA, such as International Women's Day. Major topics found throughout these records are reproductive rights, infant mortality, political education, affirmative action, labor unions, international human rights, and women's liberation.

Arrangement

This collection is organized into six series:
  1. I. ADMINISTRATION
  2. II. PUBLICATIONS
  3. III. AFFILIATED ORGANIZATIONS
  4. IV. SUBJECT FILES
  5. V. PHOTOGRAPHS
  6. VI. OVERSIZE MATERIALS

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Cheryl Johnson, Vicki Alexander, Barbara Morita, and Melanie Tervalon donated records to the Women of Color Resource Center Collection/Archives which were then donated to the Sophia Smith Collection in 2012 by the Third World Women's Alliance Alumni Association Archives Committee.

Related Materials

Additional records are housed at the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House - National Archives for Black Women's History, Amistad Research Center, and Duke University. Related materials in the SSC include Voices of Feminism interviews with Frances Beal and Linda Burnham, and the Alliance Against the Oppression of Women Records.

Processing Information

The collection was first processed by Sharon DeLaPeña Davenport in 2004 for the Women of Color Resource Center Archives. The finding aid was reviewed by the Archives Committee of the Third World Women's Alliance Alumni in 2012. It was revised for the SSC by Nichole Calero in 2012., December 2012
Title
Third World Women's Alliance records
Subtitle
Finding Aid
Author
Finding aid prepared by Sharon DeLaPeña Davenport and Nichole Calero.
Date
2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (https://github.com/harvard-library/archivesspace-preprocessor)
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:21-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.

Repository Details

Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository

Contact:
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton MA 01063