Against the Grain

A celebration of survival and struggle
Southall Black Sisters 1979 – 1989

Against the Grain is an in-depth analysis of the campaigns fought by Southall Black Sisters and the issues that we faced in the first ten years of our existence.

From highlighting the threat of fundamentalism to the freedoms won by women in their flight from domestic violence, no analysis of political struggle in the eighties is complete without this book.

It explores both feminist and conservative pressures on the Asian women’s refuge movement, the ‘gang’ culture of ‘militant’ boys in Southall, the kind of alliances that should be forged by autonomous groups and the tensions between socialist and radical feminists. Some of the most historic moments of black women’s struggle in the UK are captured in this account.

Articles include:

  • Mandana Hendessi ‘In Conversation’
  • Avtar Brah ‘The Early Days’
  • Gita Sahgal ‘When I Became Involved’
  • Gita Sahgal ‘Fundamentalism and the Multi-Culturalist Fallacy’
  • Muneeza Inam ‘Opening Doors’
  • Smita Bhide ‘N.O.W. or Never’
  • Hannana Siddiqui ‘BMWs & Samosas at the Seaside’
  • Pragna Patel ‘Southall Boys’
  • Rahila Gupta ‘Autonomy and Alliances’
  • Hannana Siddiqui ‘A Women’s Banner for Doubt and Dissent’
  • Meena Patel ‘Working with Women’
  • Judy Wellington ‘My Part in the Women’s Movement’
  • Kulli ‘Leaving Home’
  • Asha Khan – Extract from ‘Hope’
  • Asha Khan ‘Childhood’

Published by Southall Black Sisters 1990
Edited by SBS Collective
Cover Design by Rahila Gupta
Designed by Preethi Manuel and Rahila Gupta
ISBN 0951570404

Order Against the Grain
£7.50 Price for Institutions + Postage and packaging £3.00 per copy
£4.50 Price for Individuals + Postage and packaging £3.00 per copy
£2.50 Price for Unwaged + Postage and packaging £3.00 per copy

A clip from A Fearful Silence the 1986 documentary on domestic abuse within the British Asian community, directed by Faris Kermani.