The Feminist Bookstore Movement: Lesbian Antiracism and Feminist Accountability
Revolutionaries in a Capitalist System 1976–1980
Chapter 2 begins with the founding of the Feminist Bookstores Newsletter (FBN; later the Feminist Bookstore News) at the first Women in Print gathering on a Nevada campground. In these first years of the network created by the FBN, bookwomen fulfilled their vow to be revolutionaries interrupting “a capitalist system.” On a national scale, they taught each other how to influence the publishing industry and feminism in a practice of accountability to address racism in feminist movements. Painful moments of crisis at the bookstores interrupted efficient capital in productive ways: this affective work kept feminist bookwomen’s values distinctly different from those of the newly looming chain bookstore menace. As feminist literary activists, bookwomen got books onto publishers’ lists, returned books to print, and actively distributed a feminist literature. The chain bookstores began their sweep in the late 1970s, and bookwomen defined their bookstores, against capitalism, as movement spaces sustaining feminist knowledge.