40 years ago, Southall Black Sisters (SBS) arose out of the anti-racist defence of Southall in 1979. We mapped out our political journey towards a secular, anti-racist feminism that both drew on and challenged the orthodoxies of the movements into which we were born. The challenge we set ourselves was two-pronged: we sought to address the failure of the anti-racist movement to deal with the gender question and the failure of the feminist movement to deal with the race question. In so doing, SBS emerged as one of the first black feminist campaigning groups in the UK to challenge both racism and sexism at the same time. 40 years on, and the challenges have grown. It is becoming increasingly difficult to hang on to the gains we have made in the face of inequality, austerity, racism and religious fundamentalism. We did not think that SBS would survive this long. It has been a long and arduous journey that has brought us from the margins to the centre of cutting edge activism, debates, laws and policies on race, religion and gender.
Thank you to Natasha Lucas for designing our wonderful 40th anniversary Logo.
(Natasha is a London-based graphic designer interested in typography, editorial design and visual identity systems. She recently graduated from the London College of Communication and is now working in a design studio.)