Book Launch: Selma James Our Time is Now: Sex, Race, Class and Caring for People and Planet

For over sixty years, Selma James has been organizing from the perspective of unwaged women who, with their biological and caring work, reproduce the whole human race—whatever else they do. This work goes on almost unnoticed everywhere, in every culture. It is not prioritized economically, politically, or socially, and women are discriminated against and impoverished for doing it.

This much-anticipated follow-up to her first anthology, Sex, Race, and Class, compiles several decades of James’s work with a focus on more recent writings, including a groundbreaking analysis of two of CLR James’s masterpieces, The Black Jacobins and Beyond a Boundary, and an account of her formative partnership with him. Her experience in the movement for Caribbean federation and independence is reflected in her introduction to Ujamaa, the socialism that Tanzanian villagers built, and in her work with Guyana, Haiti, and Venezuela.

Steeped in the tradition of Marx urging the need for a “practical movement,” James recounts the unusual history of how autonomous organizations formed within the International Wages for Housework Campaign and reshaped it. Women of colour, queer women, sex workers, women with disabilities . . . each independent but mutually accountable (including to the men’s network with whom they work) as they confront sexism, racism, deportation, rape, and other violence.

James makes the powerful argument that the struggle for climate justice can draw on all the movements people have formed to refuse exploitation and to end the capitalist hierarchy that is destroying the world. There is one continuum between the care and protection of people and of the planet. The care income she campaigns for prioritizes both. Our time is now.

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