Sarah Webster Fabio taught some of the earliest Black studies courses at Merritt College and the University of California, Berkeley, where founding members of the Black Panther Party and other activist organizations took her classes. In the mid-1960s she earned an international reputation as an essential voice within the Black Arts Movement. She was an early theorist of Black Vernacular English and later extended her work with multimedia by performing with musical accompaniment. In the 1970s she recorded four albums of poetry and music for Folkways Records and published a seven-volume series of chapbooks entitled Rainbow Signs. Yet Webster Fabio’s contributions to the Black Student, Black Power, and Black Arts movements have been largely forgotten by most who aren’t themselves veterans of these struggles. This essay recovers Webster Fabio’s life story and literary art in order to resituate women at the center of revolutionary Black art and activism.

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