Toni Cade Bambara was a writer, activist, feminist, and filmmaker who gifted the struggle for civil and human rights with incisive words, powerful images, and opportunities for laughter. Among her many contributions to the world of arts and literature is an anthology of non-fiction, fiction, and poetry, entitled The Black Woman which was the first major feminist anthology featuring work by Nikki Giovanni, Audre Lorde, Alice Walker, Paule Marshall, and others. One of Toni Cade Bambara’s most beloved stories, The Golden Bandit, was published the year of her death in an edited volume titled Jump Up and Say! A Collection of Black Storytelling and it is a retelling of the children’s story Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Bambara’s ability to use this classic children’s story to offer a critique of White privilege and White supremacy is fun and a reminder of her gifts, which were lost too soon when she succumb to cancer in 1995.
This past summer Debra Russell, Crossroads’ Director of Management and Resources, lead the participants of Crossroads annual gathering in an interactive reading of Bambara’s sharp retelling of the children’s classic. As Crossroads continues to remember voices often forgotten in the celebration of Black History month, we share this reading of Bambara’s Golden Bandit.