VFOA United States

Women of the Original IBW

This segment of VFOA works to collect, digitize, and celebrate the voices of the women who were active in The Institute of the Black World, a Black independent activist think tank active for a decade in the 1970s. While the narratives of the men involved in IBW have been well documented, the women’s experiences, roles, accomplishments, and perspectives have been largely lacking in documentation until now.? 

VFOA has conducted over 8 interviews of women who were active in the creation, sustaining, and closing of IBW. The interviews include reflections on gender dynamics within the organization, as well as how being involved in IBW influenced the subsequent trajectories of the women’s lives. IBW worked on evaluating and strengthening Black Studies programs, as well as providing research for Black activist organizations. The purpose of conducting the women’s interviews has been to collect, digitize, and celebrate the voices of the women who were active in The Institute of the Black World, a Black independent activist think tank active for a decade in the 1970s. While the narratives of the men involved in IBW have been well documented, the women’s experiences, roles, accomplishments, and perspectives have been largely lacking in documentation until now.