FRIDAY

“I don’t live in the women’s movement,” Barbara Smith once wrote, “I live on the streets of North America.” Since the ’60s, Smith’s essays and criticism, written from a radical, black feminist lesbian perspective, have challenged academics and theoreticians to live their politics through activism. Her projects include co-founding Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press, the first major U.S. publishing house dedicated to releasing works by women of color; editing the influential volume Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology; and co-editing, with Gloria T. Hull and Patricia Bell Scott, All the Women Are White, All the Blacks Are Men, But Some of Us Are Brave: Black Women’s Studies. Her writings and political work both emphasize coalition-building; she denounces homophobia and sexism among African-Americans and racism within the gay, lesbian, and feminist communities. Smith was among the first writers to research and define an African-American women’s literary tradition, in an era when hardly anyone thought the topic was worthy of attention. Her most recent book, The Truth That Never Hurts: Writings on Race, Gender, and Freedom, was published last year. Smith takes part in a panel discussion (followed by a reception and book-signing) about her work with local artists E. Ethelbert Miller and Michelle Parkerson at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 27, at the Butler Park Center, 2437 15th St. NW. The panel discussion is free; the post-discussion reception is $10 (suggested donation). (202) 483-4721. (Dawn L. Hannaham)