Catching Hell and Doing Well

Black women in the UK – the Abasindi Cooperative

Paperback / softback, 192 pages, 234 mm x 156 mm
25 Sep 2015
Trentham Books

Price: £20.00

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This book records how Black women carved space within a specific community – with its political challenges and social realities – to determine and redefine their conditions. Photographs, poems and press cuttings enrich this historical and reflective account of the activism and achievements of the Abasindi Cooperative and its political impact. It shows Abasindi as a significant contributor and historical antecedent to community activism in the UK today against race, class and gender oppression. Above all it is a book about the daughters of ordinary women who individually and collectively have achieved extraordinary things.

Two academics, active in Abasindi for decades, describe and reflect on its challenges and achievements.

  • Diana Watt

    Diana Watt teaches at Manchester Metropolitan University and has over thirty years of community-based voluntary experience.

  • Adele D. Jones

    Adele Jones is Professor of Social Work at Huddersfield University.

CONTENTS: Acknowledgements; About the authors; 1. Abasindi Black Women’s Cooperative; 2. The legacy of Black women’s activism; 3. Cultural expressions of resilience; 4. Ancestral journeys and diasporic connections; 5. Loving body, skin and hair; 6. Sowing seeds of success; 7. The politics of sisterhood; 8. Reflections; References; Index

'This book is an invaluable and long overdue contribution to the history of Black feminist activism in the UK. Based on archival material, interviews and poetry from members of Manchester's Abasindi Black Women's Cooperative, and analyses of contemporary issues which impact Black women, their families and communities, it is a timely and necessary contribution to the UK's Black feminist archive.'

Shirley Anne Tate, Director, Centre for Ethnicity and Racism Studies, University of Leeds

'This is an inspiring, powerful and uplifting book that pays tribute to the courage and strength of black women, and is a welcome addition to the literature on Black people’s historical legacies.'

Professor Claudia Bernard, Goldsmiths, University of London

'Catching Hell and Doing Well is a praisesong for the women who founded, organized, and developed the Abasindi Women’s Collective. It is also a coherent and forceful critique of a society and economic system that seek to undermine Black lives and deny our self-actualization.'

Professor Afua Cooper, James Robinson Johnston Endowed Chair in Black Canadian Studies, Dalhousie University