Works by Women of Color

Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

by Melissa V. Harris-Perry

In this groundbreaking book, Melissa V. Harris-Perry uses multiple methods of inquiry, including literary analysis, political theory, focus groups, surveys, and experimental research, to understand more deeply black women’s political and emotional responses to pervasive negative race and gender images. Not a traditional political science work concerned with office-seeking, voting, or ideology, Sister Citizen instead explores how African American women understand themselves as citizens and what they expect from political organizing. Harris-Perry shows that the shared struggle to preserve an authentic self and secure recognition as a citizen links together black women in America, from the anonymous survivors of Hurricane Katrina to the current First Lady of the United States.

This Bridge Called My Back

by Cherríe L. Moraga

This groundbreaking collection reflects an uncompromised definition of feminism by women of color. 65,000 copies in print.

Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza

by Gloria E. Anzaldúa

Anzaldua, a Chicana native of Texas, explores in prose and poetry the murky, precarious existence of those living on the frontier between cultures and languages. Writing in a lyrical mixture of Spanish and English that is her unique heritage, she meditates on the condition of Chicanos in Anglo culture, women in Hispanic culture, and lesbians in the straight world. Her essays and poems range over broad territory, moving from the plight of undocumented migrant workers to memories of her grandmother, from Aztec religion to the agony of writing. Anzaldua is a rebellious and willful talent who recognizes that life on the border, “life in the shadows,” is vital territory for both literature and civilization. Venting her anger on all oppressors of people who are culturally or sexually different, the author has produced a powerful document that belongs in all collections with emphasis on Hispanic American or feminist issues.

The Color Purple

by Alice Walker

Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 20 years of her life, beginning at age 14 when she is being abused and raped by her father and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate, and continuing over the course of her marriage to “Mister,” a brutal man who terrorizes her. Celie eventually learns that her abusive husband has been keeping her sister’s letters from her and the rage she feels, combined with an example of love and independence provided by her close friend Shug, pushes her finally toward an awakening of her creative and loving self.

Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment

by Patricia Hill Collins

In spite of the double burden of racial and gender discrimination, African-American women have developed a rich intellectual tradition that is not widely known. In Black Feminist Thought, Patricia Hill Collins explores the words and ideas of Black feminist intellectuals as well as those African-American women outside academe. She provides an interpretive framework for the work of such prominent Black feminist thinkers as Angela Davis, bell hooks, Alice Walker, and Audre Lorde. The result is a superbly crafted book that provides the first synthetic overview of Black feminist thought.

Zami: A New Spelling of My Name

by Audre Lorde

ZAMI is a fast-moving chronicle. From the author’s vivid childhood memories in Harlem to her coming of age in the late 1950s, the nature of Audre Lorde’s work is cyclical. It especially relates the linkage of women who have shaped her . . . Lorde brings into play her craft of lush description and characterization. It keeps unfolding page after page.

Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches

by Audre Lorde

Presenting the essential writings of black lesbian poet and feminist writer Audre Lorde, SISTER OUTSIDER celebrates an influential voice in twentieth-century literature. In this charged collection of fifteen essays and speeches, Lorde takes on sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, and class, and propounds social difference as a vehicle for action and change. Her prose is incisive, unflinching, and lyrical, reflecting struggle but ultimately offering messages of hope. This commemorative edition includes a new foreword by Lorde scholar and poet Cheryl Clarke, who celebrates the ways in which Lorde’s philosophies resonate more than twenty years after they were first published. These landmark writings are, in Lorde’s own words, a call to “never close our eyes to the terror, to the chaos which is Black which is creative which is female which is dark which is rejected which is messy which is. . . .”

this bridge we call home: radical visions for transformation

by Gloria E. Anzaldúa

More than twenty years after the ground-breaking anthology This Bridge Called My Back called upon feminists to envision new forms of communities and practices, Gloria E. Anzaldua and AnaLouise Keating have painstakingly assembled a new collection of over eighty original writings that offers a bold new vision of women-of-color consciousness for the twenty-first century. Written by women and men–both “of color” and “white”–this bridge we call home will challenge readers to rethink existing categories and invent new individual and collective identities.

Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty

by Dorothy Roberts

This is a no-holds-barred response to the liberal and conservative retreat from an assertive, activist, and socially transformative civil rights agenda of recent years–using a black feminist lens and the issue of  the impact of recent legislation, social policy, and welfare “reform” on black women’s–especially poor black women’s–control over their bodies’ autonomy and their freedom to bear and raise children with respect and dignity in a society whose white mainstream is determined to demonize, even criminalize their lives.   It gives its readers a cogent legal and historical argument for a radically new , and socially transformative, definition of  “liberty” and “equality” for the American polity from a black feminist perspective.

Women, Race, and Class

by Angela Y. Davis

A powerful study of the women’s movement in the U.S. from abolitionist days to the present that demonstrates how it has always been hampered by the racist and classist biases of its leaders.

Colonize This!: Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism

by Daisy Hernandez

It has been decades since women of color first turned feminism upside down, exposing the 70s feminist movement as exclusive, white, and unaware of the concerns and issues of women of color from around the globe. Now a new generation of brilliant, outspoken women of color is speaking to the concerns of a new feminism, and to their place in it. Daisy Hernandez of Ms. magazine and poet Bushra Rehman have collected a diverse, lively group of emerging writers who speak to their experience—to the strength and rigidity of community and religion, to borders and divisions, both internal and external—and address issues that take feminism into the twenty-first century.

Arab & Arab American Feminisms: Gender, Violence, & Belonging

by Rabab Abdulhadi

In this collection, Arab and Arab American feminists enlist their intimate experiences to challenge simplistic and long-held assumptions about gender, sexuality, and commitments to feminism and justice-centered struggles. Contributors hail from multiple geographical sites, spiritualities, occupations, sexualities, class backgrounds, and generations. Poets, creative writers, artists, scholars, and activists employ a mix of genres to express feminist issues and highlight how Arab and Arab American feminist perspectives simultaneously inhabit multiple, overlapping, and intersecting spaces: within families and communities; in anticolonial and antiracist struggles; in debates over spirituality and the divine; within radical, feminist, and queer spaces; in academia and on the street; and between each other.

I am Your Sister: Collected and Unpublished Writings

by Audre Lorde

I Am Your Sister is a collection of Lorde’s non-fiction prose, written between 1976 and 1990, and it introduces new perspectives on the depth and range of Lorde’s intellectual interests and her commitments to progressive social change. Presented here, for the first time in print, is a major body of Lorde’s speeches and essays, along with the complete text of A Burst of Light and Lorde’s landmark prose works Sister Outsider and The Cancer Journals. Together, these writings reveal Lorde’s commitment to a radical course of thought and action, situating her works within the women’s, gay and lesbian, and African American Civil Rights movements. They also place her within a continuum of black feminists, from Sojourner Truth, to Anna Julia Cooper, Amy Jacques Garvey, Lorraine Hansberry, and Patricia Hill Collins. I Am Your Sister concludes with personal reflections from Alice Walker, Gloria Joseph, Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Beverly Guy-Sheftall, and bell hooks on Lorde’s political and social commitments and the indelibility of her writings for all who are committed to a more equitable society.

Send My Roots Rain

by Ibis Gomez-Vega

A wonderful, fast-paced first novel by a new talent, Send My Roots Rainis the story of an urban woman artist’s experiences in a small southwestern town near the Mexican border.

Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia

by Gabriella Gutierrez y Muhs

Presumed Incompetent is a pathbreaking account of the intersecting roles of race, gender, and class in the working lives of women faculty of color. Through personal narratives and qualitative empirical studies, more than 40 authors expose the daunting challenges faced by academic women of color as they navigate the often hostile terrain of higher education, including hiring, promotion, tenure, and relations with students, colleagues, and administrators. The narratives are filled with wit, wisdom, and concrete recommendations, and provide a window into the struggles of professional women in a racially stratified but increasingly multicultural America.

Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics

by Bell Hooks

In this engaging and provocative volume, bell hooks introduces a popular theory of feminism rooted in common sense and the wisdom of experience. Hers is a vision of a beloved community that appeals to all those committed to equality, mutual respect, and justice.

Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America

by Charisse Jones

Based on the African American Women’s Voices Project, Shifting reveals that a large number of African American women feel pressure to com-promise their true selves as they navigate America’s racial and gender bigotry. Black women “shift” by altering the expectations they have for themselves or their outer appearance. They modify their speech. They shift “White” as they head to work in the morning and “Black” as they come back home each night. They shift inward, internalizing the searing pain of the negative stereotypes that they encounter daily. And sometimes they shift by fighting back.

Feminism FOR REAL: Deconstructing the Academic Industrial Complex of Feminism

Against a backdrop exposing a 500+ year legacy of colonization and oppression, Feminism FOR REAL explores what has led us to the existence of “feminism”, who gets to decide what it is, and why. With stories that make the walls of academia come tumbling down, it deals head-on with the conflicts of what feminism means in theory as opposed to real life, the frustrations of trying to relate to definitions of feminism that never fit no matter how much you try to change yourself to fit them, and the anger of changing a system while being in the system yourself.

Loving in the War Years

by Cherríe L. Moraga

Weaving together poetry and prose, Spanish and English, family history and political theory, Loving in the War Years has been a classic in the feminist and Chicano canon since its 1983 release. This new edition—including a new introduction and three new essays—remains a testament of Moraga’s coming-of-age as a Chicana and a lesbian at a time when the political merging of those two identities was severely censured.

Feminism without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity

by Chandra Talpade Mohanty

Bringing together classic and new writings of the trailblazing feminist theorist Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Feminism without Borders addresses some of the most pressing and complex issues facing contemporary feminism. Forging vital links between daily life and collective action and between theory and pedagogy, Mohanty has been at the vanguard of Third World and international feminist thought and activism for nearly two decades. This collection highlights the concerns running throughout her pioneering work: the politics of difference and solidarity, decolonizing and democratizing feminist practice, the crossing of borders, and the relation of feminist knowledge and scholarship to organizing and social movements. Mohanty offers here a sustained critique of globalization and urges a reorientation of transnational feminist practice toward anticapitalist struggles.

A Xicana Codex of Changing Consciousness: Writings, 2000-2010

by Cherríe L. Moraga

A Xicana Codex of Changing Consciousness features essays and poems by Cherríe L. Moraga, one of the most influential figures in Chicana/o, feminist, queer, and indigenous activism and scholarship. Combining moving personal stories with trenchant political and cultural critique, the writer, activist, teacher, dramatist, mother, daughter, comadre, and lesbian lover looks back on the first ten years of the twenty-first century. She considers decade-defining public events such as 9/11 and the campaign and election of Barack Obama, and she explores socioeconomic, cultural, and political phenomena closer to home, sharing her fears about raising her son amid increasing urban violence and the many forms of dehumanization faced by young men of color.

The Nawal El Saadawi Reader

by Nawal El Saadawi

This collection of her non-fiction writing since the publication of her seminal book on Arab women The Hidden Face of Eve (Zed Books, 1980) presents the full range of her extraordinary work. She explores a host of topics from women’s oppression at the hands of recent interpretations of Islam to the role of women in African literature, from the sexual politics of development initiatives to tourism in a ‘post-colonial’age, from the nature of cultural identity to the subversive potential of creativity, from the fight against female genital mutilation to problems facing the internationalization of the women’s movement. Throughout her writing, she sheds new light on the power of women in resistance – against poverty, racism, fundamentalism, and inequality of all kinds.

Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism

by Bell Hooks

A groundbreaking work of feminst history and theory analyzing the complex relations between various forms of oppression. Ain’t I a Womanexamines the impact of sexism on black women during slavery, the historic devaluation of black womanhood, black male sexism, racism within the recent women’s movement, and black women’s involvement with feminsim.

Outdated: Why Dating Is Ruining Your Love Life

by Samhita Mukhopadhyay

Outdated analyzes how different forms of media, cultural norms, family pressure, and even laws, are produced to scare women into believing that if they don’t devote themselves to finding a man, they’ll be doomed to a life of loneliness and shame. Using interviews with young women that are living around, between, within, and outside of the romantic industrial complex, Mukhopadhyay weaves a narrative of the alternative ways that women today have elected to live their lives, and in doing so offers a fresh, feminist look at an old topic: How do diverse, independent young women date happily and successfully—and outside of the box?

Qur’an and Woman: Rereading the Sacred Text from a Woman’s Perspective

by Amina Wadud

A pro-faith attempt by a Muslim woman to present a comprehensive, female-inclusive reading of the Qur’an, the sacred Islamic text.

A Nation of Women: An Early Feminist Speaks Out: Mi Opinion Sobre Las Libertades, Derechos y Deberes de La Mujer

by Luisa Capetillo

Cultural Writing. Political Writing. Latino/ Latina Studies. Luisa Capetillo is best known in popular culture as the first woman to wear men’s trousers. The splash of recognition following her arrest and acquittal for her choice of clothing in 1915 overshadows her significant contributions to the women’s movement and the anarchist labor movements, both in her native Puerto Rico and in the migrant labor belt that stretched along the Eastern United States, from Tampa to New York. This volume combines a facsimile of the original Spanish edition with the first English translation of Capetillo’s landmark MI OPINION SOBRE LAS LIBERTADES, DERECHOS Y DEBERES DE LA MUJER, originally published in Spanish in 1911. MI OPINION is considered by many to be the first feminist treatise in Puerto Rico and one of the first in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf

by Mohja Kahf

Syrian immigrant Khadra Shamy is growing up in a devout, tightly knit Muslim family in 1970s Indiana, at the crossroads of bad polyester and Islamic dress codes. Along with her brother Eyad and her African-American friends, Hakim and Hanifa, she bikes the Indianapolis streets exploring the fault-lines between “Muslim” and “American.”

When her picture-perfect marriage goes sour, Khadra flees to Syria and learns how to pray again. On returning to America she works in an eastern state — taking care to stay away from Indiana, where the murder of her friend Tayiba’s sister by Klan violence years before still haunts her. But when her job sends her to cover a national Islamic conference in Indianapolis, she’s back on familiar ground: Attending a concert by her brother’s interfaith band The Clash of Civilizations, dodging questions from the “aunties” and “uncles,” and running into the recently divorced Hakim everywhere.

En La Lucha/In the Struggle: Elaborating a Mujerista Theology

by Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz

Ten years ago En la Lucha offered the first systematic presentation of mujerista theology — the liberating religious reflection of Hispanic women — giving voice to the everyday struggles and insights of Hispanic women and offering a new form of contextual theology.Since that time, Isasi-Diaz’s work has been widely praised, studied, and emulated in Hispanic and other contextual theologies, and she is widely acknowledged to be mujerista theology’s major spokeswoman. This anniversary edition places the central thrust of mujerista theology in the ongoing context of North American society, brings a heightened sense of the specificity and complexity of Hispanic identity, and reflects further on the global implications of the North American Hispanic context. With a new Introduction, updates to each chapter, and new Spanish-language summaries of the chapters, the new edition is a sterling presentation of the sources, aims, and truths of mujerista theology.

The Woman Warrior

by Maxine Hong Kingston

A Chinese American woman tells of the Chinese myths, family stories and events of her California childhood that have shaped her identity.

Shadowboxing: Representations of Black Feminist Politics

by Joy James

Shadowboxing is an explosive analysis of the history and practice of black feminisms. Joy James charts new territory by synthesizing theories of social movements with cultural and identity politics. She brings into the spotlight images of black female agency and intellectualism in radical and anti-radical political contexts, challenging us to rethink our understanding of the changing African presence in American culture. From a comparative look at Ida B. Wells, Ella Baker, Angela Davis, and Assata Shakur to analyses of the black woman in white cinema and the black man in feminist coalitions, she focuses attention on the invisible or the forgotten. James convincingly demonstrates how images of powerful women are either consigned to oblivion or transformed into icons robbed of intellectual power. Shadowboxing honors and analyzes the work of black activists and intellectuals and redefines the sharp divide between intellectual work and political movements.

Ain’t I a Feminist?: African American Men Speak Out on Fatherhood, Friendship, Forgiveness, and Freedom

by Aaronette M. White

Ain’t I a Feminist? presents the life stories of twenty African American men who identify themselves as feminists, centering on the turning points in their lives that shaped and strengthened their commitment to feminism, as well as the ways they practice feminism with women, children, and other men. In her analysis, Aaronette M. White highlights feminist fathering practices; how men establish egalitarian relationships with women; the variety of Black masculinities; and the interplay of race, gender, class, and sexuality politics in American society. Coming from a wide range of family backgrounds, ages, geographical locations, sexualities, and occupations, each man also shares what he experiences as the personal benefits of feminism, and how feminism contributes to his efforts towards social change. Focusing on the creative agency of Black men to redefine the assumptions and practices of manhood, the author also offers recommendations regarding the socialization of African American boys and the reeducation of African American men in the interest of strengthening their communities.

meXicana Encounters: The Making of Social Identities on the Borderlands

by Rosa Linda Fregoso

meXicana Encounters charts the dynamic and contradictory representation of Mexicanas and Chicanas in culture. Rosa Linda Fregoso’s deft analysis of the cultural practices and symbolic forms that shape social identities takes her across a wide and varied terrain. Among the subjects she considers are the recent murders and disappearances of women in Ciudad Juárez; transborder feminist texts that deal with private, domestic forms of violence; how films like John Sayles’s Lone Star re-center white masculinity; and the significance of la familia to the identity of Chicanas/os and how it can subordinate gender and sexuality to masculinity and heterosexual roles. Fregoso’s self-reflexive approach to cultural politics embraces the movement for social justice and offers new insights into the ways that racial and gender differences are inscribed in cultural practices.

Rethinking Global Sisterhood: Western Feminism and Iran

by Nima Naghibi

In Rethinking Global Sisterhood, Nima Naghibi makes powerful connections among feminism, imperialism, and the discourses of global sisterhood. Naghibi investigates topics including the state-sponsored Women’s Organization of Iran and the involvement of feminists such as Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem in the Iranian feminism movement before and during the 1979 revolution. With a potent analysis of cinema, she examines the veiled woman in the films of Tahmineh Milani, Ziba Mir-Hosseini and Kim Longinotto, and Mahnaz Afzali.

Ain’t I a Womanist, Too?: Third-Wave Womanist Religious Thought

by Monica A. Coleman

Third wave womanism is a new movement within religious studies with deep roots in the tradition of womanist religious thoughtwhile also departing from it in key ways.After a helpful and orienting introduction, this volume gathers essays from established and emerging scholars whose work is among the most lively and innovative scholarship today.

Chicana Power!: Contested Histories of Feminism in the Chicano Movement

by Maylei Blackwell

Chicana Power! provides a critical genealogy of pioneering Chicana activist and theorist Anna NietoGomez and the Hijas de Cuauhtemoc, one of the first Latina feminist organizations, who together with other Chicana activists forged an autonomous space for women’s political participation and challenged the gendered confines of Chicano nationalism in the movement and in the formation of the field of Chicana studies. She uncovers the multifaceted vision of liberation that continues to reverberate today as contemporary activists, artists, and intellectuals, both grassroots and academic, struggle for, revise, and rework the political legacy of Chicana feminism.

Separate Roads to Feminism: Black, Chicana, and White Feminist Movements in America’s Second Wave

by Benita Roth

This book is about the development of white women’s liberation, black feminism and Chicana feminism in the 1960s and 1970s, the era known as the “second wave” of U.S. feminist protest. Benita Roth explores the ways that feminist movements emerged from the Civil Rights/Black Liberation movement, the Chicano movement, and the white left, and the processes that supported political organizing decisions made by feminists. She traces the effects that inequality had on the possibilities for feminist unity and explores how ideas common to the left influenced feminist organizing.

Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology

by Barbara Smith

The pioneering anthology IHome Girls/I features writings by Black feminists and lesbian activists on topics both provocative and profound. Since its initial publication in 1983, it has become an essential text on Black women’s lives and writings. This edition features an updated lists of contributor biographies and an all-new preface that provides a fresh assessment of how Black women’s lives have changed- or not- since the book was first published.

Convergences: Black Feminism and Continental Philosophy

by Maria Del Guadalupe Davidson

Black Feminism and Continental Philosophy in dialogue.

Black Feminist Politics from Kennedy to Obama

by Duchess Harris

Taking an interdisciplinary approach, this book analyzes Black women’s involvement in American political life, focusing on what they did to gain political power between 1961 and the present, and why, in many cases, they did not succeed. Duchess Harris demonstrates that Black women have tried to gain centrality through their participation in Presidential Commissions, Black feminist organizations, theatrical productions, film adaptations of literature, beauty pageants, electoral politics, and Presidential appointments. She contends that “success” in this area means that the feminist-identified Black women in the Congressional Black Caucus who voted against Clarence Thomas’s appointment would have spoken on behalf of Anita Hill; Senator Carol Moseley Braun would have won re-election; and Shirley Sherrod wouldn’t have been forced to resign from her USDA position. Harris contends that if this is truly a post-racial America, there should be no apprehension to discuss issues concerning racism at a national level.

Black British Feminism: A Reader

by Heidi Safia Mirza

Black British Feminism: A Reader is a unique collection of classic texts and new black feminist scholarship. Exploring postmodern themes of gendered and racialized exclusion, ‘black’ identity and social and cultural difference this volume provides an overview of black feminism in Britain as it has developed during the last two decades.

The Womanist Reader

by Layli Phillips

Comprehensive in its coverage, The Womanist Reader is the first volume to anthologize the major works of womanist scholarship. Charting the course of womanist theory from its genesis as Alice Walker s African-American feminism, through Chikwenye Okonjo Ogunyemi s African womanism and Clenora Hudson-Weems Africana womanism, to its present-day expression as a global, anti-oppressionist perspective rooted in the praxis of everyday women of color, this interdisciplinary reader traces the rich and diverse history of a quarter century of womanist thought. Featuring selections from over a dozen disciplines by top womanist scholars from around the world, plus several critiques of womanism, an extensive bibliography of womanist sources, and the first ever systematic treatment of womanist thought on its own terms, Layli Phillips has assembled a unique and groundbreaking compilation.

Gender Talk: The Struggle For Women’s Equality in African American Communities

by Johnnetta B. Cole

Examining why the “race problem” has become so male-centered and how this has opened a deep divide between Black women and men, the authors turn to their own lives, offering intimate accounts of their experiences as daughters, wives, and leaders. They examine pivotal moments in African American history when race and gender issues collided with explosive results. Along the way, they present the testimonies of a large and influential group of Black women and men, including Byllye Avery, Derrick A. Bell, Farai Chideya, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Michael Eric Dyson, Marcia Gillespie, bell hooks, and Faye Wattleton. Fearless and eye-opening, Gender Talk is required reading for anyone concerned with the future of African American women—and men.

When and Where I Enter: The Impact of Black Women on Race and Sex in America

by Paula J. Giddings

When and Where I Enter is an eloquent testimonial to the profound influence of African-American women on race and women’s movements throughout American history. Drawing on speeches, diaries, letters, and other original documents, Paula Giddings powerfully portrays how black women have transcended racist and sexist attitudes–often confronting white feminists and black male leaders alike–to initiate social and political reform. From the open disregard for the rights of slave women to examples of today’s more covert racism and sexism in civil rights and women’sorganizations, Giddings illuminates the black woman’s crusade for equality. In the process, she paints unforgettable portraits of black female leaders, such as anti-lynching activist Ida B. Wells, educator and FDR adviser Mary McLeod Bethune, and the heroic civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer, among others, who fought both overt and institutionalized oppression.

Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black

by Bell Hooks

bell hooks writes about the meaning of feminist consciousness in daily life and about self-recovery, about overcoming white and male supremacy, and about intimate relationships, exploring the point where the public and private meet.

Words of Fire: An Anthology of African-AmericanFeminist Thought

by Beverly Guy-Sheftall

The first comprehensive collection to trace the development of African-American feminist thought.

Black Looks: Race and Representation

by Bell Hooks

In these twelve essays, bell hooks digs ever deeper into the personal and political consequences of contemporary representations of race and ethnicity within a white supremacist culture.

Reconstructing Womanhood: The Emergence of the Afro-American Woman Novelist

by Hazel V. Carby

A cultural history of the work of nineteenth-century black women writers, this volume traces the emergence of the novel as a forum for political and cultural reconstruction, examining the ways in which dominant sexual ideologies influenced the literary conventions of women’s fiction, and reassessing the uses of fiction in American culture. Carby revises the history of the period of Jim Crow and Booker T. Washington, depicting a time of intense cultural and political activity by such black women writers as Ida B. Wells, Anna Julia Cooper, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, and Pauline Hopkins.

Women, Culture, and Politics

by Angela Y. Davis

A collection of her speeches and writings which address the political and social changes of the past decade as they are concerned with the struggle for racial, sexual, and economic equality.

Songs in Black and Lavender: Race, Sexual Politics, and Women’s Music

by Eileen M. Hayes

Eileen M. Hayes argues that the women’s music festival, with its foundation in lesbian feminism, is a significant institutional site for the emergence of black feminist consciousness in the contemporary period. She offers sage perspectives on black women’s involvement in the women’s music festival scene, the ramifications of their performances as drag kings in those environments, and the challenges and joys of a black lesbian retreat based on the feminist festival model. With acuity and candor, Hayes elucidates why this music scene matters, Veteran vocalist, percussionist, and producer Linda Tillery provides a foreword.

But Some Of Us Are Brave: All the Women Are White, All the Blacks Are Men: Black Women’s Studies

by Gloria T. Hull

This ground-breaking collection provides hours of enjoyment for the general reader and a wealth of materials needed to develop course units on black women; political theory, literary essays on major writers, guidelines for consciousness-raising about racism, and surveys of black women’s contributions to the blues.

Sojourning for Freedom: Black Women, American Communism, and the Making of Black Left Feminism

by Erik S. McDuffie

Sojourning for Freedom portrays pioneering black women activists from the early twentieth century through the 1970s, focusing on their participation in the U.S. Communist Party (CPUSA) between 1919 and 1956. Erik S. McDuffie considers how women from diverse locales and backgrounds became radicalized, joined the CPUSA, and advocated a pathbreaking politics committed to black liberation, women’s rights, decolonization, economic justice, peace, and international solidarity. McDuffie explores the lives of black left feminists, including the bohemian world traveler Louise Thompson Patterson, who wrote about the “triple exploitation” of race, gender, and class; Esther Cooper Jackson, an Alabama-based civil rights activist who chronicled the experiences of black female domestic workers; and Claudia Jones, the Trinidad-born activist who emerged as one of the Communist Party’s leading theorists of black women’s exploitation. Drawing on more than forty oral histories collected from veteran black women radicals and their family members, McDuffie examines how these women negotiated race, gender, class, sexuality, and politics within the CPUSA. In Sojourning for Freedom, he depicts a community of radical black women activist intellectuals who helped to lay the foundation for a transnational modern black feminism.

Black Woman Redefined: Dispelling Myths and Discovering Fulfillment in the Age of Michelle Obama

by Sophia Nelson

Black Woman Redefined was inspired in part by what Nelson calls “open season on accomplished black women,” which reached a tipping point in 2007 when Don Imus referred to black female Rutger’s University basketball co-eds as “nappy-headed hos.” Since then, we’ve seen First Lady Michelle Obama caricatured on the infamous New Yorker cover, when she was called “angry” and “unpatriotic”; the 2009 groundbreaking Yale University Study on professional black women titled, “Marriage Eludes High-Achieving Black Women”; ABC’s “Why Can’t a Successful Black Woman Find a Man?” and the Internet video that went viral, “Black Marriage Negotiations,” featuring a successful black woman interviewing a nice black man to be her mate in a robotic, controlling, emasculating, Bible-thumping demeanor. More recently, we were subjected to the 2011 Super Bowl commercial that started a national firestorm featuring an “angry black woman” throwing a soda can at her mate, after first kicking, slapping, and emasculating him.

Black Feminist Cultural Criticism

by Jacqueline Bobo

“Black Feminist Cultural Criticism” is the first comprehensive analysis of the full range of Black women’s creative achievements. In this outsdanding collection, writers and scholars in literature, film, television, theatre, music, art, material culture, and other cultural forms explicate Black women’s artistry within the context of an activist framework. The contributors are concerned with the politics of cultural production and the ways in which Black women have confronted institutional and social barriers.

Fighting Words: Black Women and the Search for Justice

by Patricia Hill Collins

Collins takes on a broad range of issues — poverty, mothering, white supremacy and Afrocentrism, the resegregation of American society by race and class, the ideas of Sojourner Truth and how they can serve as a springboard for more liberating social theory. Contrasting social theories that support unjust power relations of race, class, gender, and nation with those that challenge inequalities, Collins investigates why some ideas are granted the status of “theory” while others remain “thought”. “It is not that elites produce theory while everyone else produces mere thought”, she writes. “Rather, elites possess the power to legitimate the knowledge that they define as theory as being universal, normative, and ideal”.

New Black Feminist Criticism, 1985-2000

by Barbara Christian

New Black Feminist Criticism, 1985-2000 collects a selection of essays and reviews from Barbara Christian, one of the founding voices in black feminist literary criticism. Published between the release of her second landmark book Black Feminist Criticism and her death, these writings include eloquent reviews, evaluations of black feminist criticism as a discipline, reflections on black feminism in the academy, and essays on Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Paule Marshall, and others.

The Black Feminist Reader

by Joy James

Organized into two parts, “Literary Theory” and “Social and Political Theory,” this Reader explores issues of community, identity, justice, and the marginalization of African American and Caribbean women in literature, society, and political movements.


All summaries are taken from goodreads.com

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