Intersectional Feminist Reading List

Kimberle Crenshaw introduced the idea of intersectionality in 1989 to provide a framework for understanding the ways racism and sexism combine. Black women and women of color experience both simultaneously and that intersectional identity must be understood and respected. Building on that foundation, intersectional feminism looks at systems of oppression and centers experiences of women with multiple-marginalized identities to push for a truly inclusive feminist movement. 

As Crenshaw said in an interview discussing intersectionality with TIME:

It’s basically a lens, a prism, for seeing the way in which various forms of inequality often operate together and exacerbate each other. We tend to talk about race inequality as separate from inequality based on gender, class, sexuality or immigrant status. What’s often missing is how some people are subject to all of these, and the experience is not just the sum of its parts.

When asked, what can the average person do to achieve a more equal America, Crenshaw responded:

Self-interrogation is a good place to start. If you see inequality as a “them” problem or “unfortunate other” problem, that is a problem. Being able to attend to not just unfair exclusion but also, frankly, unearned inclusion is part of the equality gambit. We’ve got to be open to looking at all of the ways our systems reproduce these inequalities, and that includes the privileges as well as the harms.

With that in mind, we’ve listed some resources below of books and articles written by intersectional women. We’ve included some source material and a few links for more recommendations at the bottom!

This is by no means a comprehensive list, and we will update it regularly as we learn, grow, and the movement evolves. If you have suggestions, please send them our way! 


Kimberle Crenshaw’s “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics”

Sarah Simon’s “The Feminist History of Fat Liberation,” Ms. Magazine

“Immigration As a Feminist Issue” National Organization for Women

“5 Things To Know To Make Your Feminism Trans-Inclusive” Human Rights Campaign

“The Original Activists: Black Feminism and the Black Feminist Movement” National Organization for Women

Cara Liebowitz, “Why Centering Disabled Women Is Crucial for Truly Intersectional Feminism” the body is not an apology


Angela Y. Davis’s Women, Race, and Class

Davis’s 1983 study examines the ways in which black women were often forced to choose between civil rights and women’s liberation. Racism and classism prevalent in women’s liberation and suffragist movements are detailed extensively from Davis, a radical political activist and scholar. 

Roxane Gay’s Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body

Gay’s deeply personal memoir details a violent turning point in her life, and the reality of what it means to be overweight in America. She examines discrimination in the medical community, and the need for feminist spaces to be truly accesible. 

Harilyn Rousso’s Don’t Call Me Inspirational: A Disabled Feminist Talks Back

Rousso’s memoir addresses the damaging narrative surrounding disability: the inspirational story. She writes about overcoming the prejudice she experiences as a person with a disability rather than overcoming the disability itself, as is often portrayed in disability narratives. 

Vivek Shraya’s I’m Afraid of Men

Shraya’s memoir is a raw account of the violence experienced as a result of misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia. Her story sheds light on performing identity to survive, and the damage that causes. Simultaneously filled with violence, humor, and hope, Shraya’s biography looks to a better future. 

Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents

Wilkerson’s examination of America’s social and class structure sheds new light on racism and intersectionality. Blending research and narrative, she writes of a “rigid hierarchy of human rankings” influencing our health, social standing, lives, and behavior. 

Sources and Further Reading

Feminist Press, publishing insurgent and marginalized voices from around the world to create a more just future.

International Women’s Development Agency, 10 New & Old Books for Intersectional Feminist Readers

Subvrt Magazine, 10 Books By Trans Authors That Will Change Your Life