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Barbara Smith Wiki 2021: Age, Career, Awards, and Bio

Barbara Smith is an American socialist and lesbian feminist who has played a quite important role in Black feminism in the United States. From the year 1970s, Barbara has been active as a activist, scholar, critic, lecturer, author and publisher of Black feminist thought.

Born NameBarbara Smith
Popular AsBarbara Smith
ProfessionIndependent Scholar, Writer, Activist
Date of BirthNovember 16, 1946
Birth PlaceCleveland, Ohio, U.S
Zodiac SignScorpio
ParentsNot Available
Age74 years old
Height6 Feet 9 Inches (Approx)
Weight162 lbs (73.4 kg) (Approx)
Eyes colorBrown
Hair colorBlack
Net worth$32 Million
Sexual orientationLesbian
Relationship statusNot Available
ChildrenNot Available
Married toNot Available
GirlfriendNot Available
BoyfriendNot Available


Barbara Smith is a revolutionary American Lesbian feminist and socialist, having worked for black feminism for the last 50 years. Barbara, from the early 1970s began working as a scholar, lecturer, activist, critic, and publisher of multiple publications focusing on Black feminist thoughts. For another 25 years, she taught in multiple reputed colleges and universities. Barbara, owing to her exceptional writing skills, has been featured in a range of reputed publications.


Barbara, along with her fraternal twin, Barbara was born on November 16, 1946,(74 yrs of age as of now) in Cleveland, Ohio. Both of the sisters struggled most of their childhood because of their premature delivery, however, Barbara developed more complications after contracting pneumonia. Having her parents split up even before her birth, Barbara had little knowledge of her father for most of her life. Barbara’s mother, aunt, and grandmother were well-educated for the means available to Black women in those 40s and 50s. Subsequently, Barbara’s family emphasized education, both inside and out of schools.

Regarding education,

Barbara, and her sister, Beverly, both attended Bolton Elementary School before moving to Robert Fulton Elementary School in 1st grade. Both Smith sisters excelled academically and were offered special education for the academically talented students in fourth grade. This was soon after her mother died, and the family, therefore, decided not to switch the school. Barbara and Beverly attended Alexander Hamilton Jr. High School and later John Adams High School. 

Barbara, for her excellent grades and test scores, was accepted at Mount Holyoke College in 1965. However, having to face constant racial prejudice in college, she transferred to the New School in New York City. After studying social sciences for almost a year, she later returned to Mount Holyoke and graduated in 1969. She later pursued an MA in literature from the University of Pittsburgh to graduate in the year 1971. 

It was at the University of Pittsburgh where  Barbara was introduced to the Women’s Rights Movement and the Gay Liberation Movement. She was involved actively in these movements. Smith completed her doctorate in 1981, from the University of Connecticut. By this time, Barbara was well known for her involvement as an activist in Black, feminist, and LGBTQIA issues. 


Barbara Smith, having faced oppression herself, was drawn to the feminist movement, and soon was invested completely. Because she grew up in a highly segregated society, she developed political conscience at an early age, and thus was involved in civil rights protests while still in high school. While in Mount Holyoke College, she actively involved herself in Civil Actions Groups. Moreover, she finally found a place for her writing in the numerous journals that had sprouted in the light of activist movements.  

In 1974, Smith co-founded the Cohambee River Collective in Boston, a community-based black feminist group. One of the most important legacies of the group was that it was actively committed to not only struggling against the oppression of black women, but also against sexual, racial, and class oppression.

Smith continued working for these noble causes but later realized how mainstream media would provide little to no help for advocating women of color. Thus, in 1980, Smith co-founded the Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press 1980. The press was envisioned as a place for all women of color—black, Latino, Native American—to be able to publish their work. The press successfully cultivated the culture of raising voices of the unheard, while standing strong against oppression, and prejudice, on any grounds, whatsoever. 

Smith, to this day, continues to work against the oppression of color, race, gender, sex, and class. Her work with powerful writing and total determination to crush oppression in all its forms has created a legacy that inspires those who come after her.

Awards and Recognitions 

Barbara Smith has been honored with some of the most prestigious social activist awards. Some of them are listed below.

  • Tubman Lifetime Achievement Award for African American Policy Forum Harriet (2017)
  • Publishing Professional Award: Lambda Literary Award:
  • Mount Holyoke College Achievement Award of Alumnae Association
  • Alumnae Association Sesquicentennial Award in Mount Holyoke College
  • Nobel Peace Prize Nomination (2005)
  • Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College Fellowship
  • Human Rights Award of Church Women United’s (2000)
  • Service to the Lesbian and Gay Community Stonewall Award (1994)


Regarding relationship, she is really private person so there’ is not much information available. We will make sure to include it if some information from her sources is available in recent days. There are some rumors that she has children however there is no information about them as well. Barbara has kept it hard to keep her private and family life really secret and away from the media.

Net Worth

Barbara Smith claims more than 25,000 units of Commercial Metals Co stock worth more than $18,308,389 and throughout the most recent 10 years, she sold CMC stock worth more than $6,083,104. What’s more, she makes $7,648,590 as Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer at Commercial Metals Co.

Currently, Barbara Smith has a net worth of approximately $32 million as of 2021.


Pravesh Pokhrel

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