Anna Julia Cooper, Visionary Black Feminist: A Critical Introduction / Edition 1

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Born into slavery in 1858, Anna Julia Cooper was a renowned scholar, educator, and activist who called for critical consciousness and collective action on the part of all marginalized people. Rejecting notions that Cooper was an elitist duped by dominant ideologies, Vivian M. May examines Cooper's visionary politics and defiant philosophy to reveal her radical methodology of dissent. May explores Cooper's extraordinary life and writings on subjects as wide-ranging as capitalism and slavery, the Haitian revolution, Black feminism, and Pan-Africanism, showing how, across six decades of work, Cooper helped to lay the foundations of modern-day race and gender studies.

About the Author:
Vivian M. May is Assistant Professor of Women's Studies at Syracuse University

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
May has written the first book to really situate Cooper as a radical intellectual. She elucidates not only Cooper's brilliant critique of racism and sexism, but her cross-disciplinary analysis of literature, education, religion, law and American culture. Most importantly, May establishes Cooper’s philosophy of liberation—one that is global, historically grounded, passionate, and lived. From now on, anyone teaching 20th century intellectual history must come to terms with Anna Julia Cooper. —Robin D. G. Kelley, Columbia University, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination

"May persuasively argues that Cooper’s philosophical ideas are much more revolutionary—radical even—and subversive of dominant ideology than previously judged. This book will become central to the scholarship on 19th and early 20th century African American women writers." —Trudier Harris, UNC Chapel Hill, author of Saints, Sinners, Saviors: Strong Black Women in African American Literature

"May places Cooper in a rich political, philosophical and literary context in which her prescient work can at long last be fully appreciated. She enables readers to understand just how and why Cooper might have been misunderstood, and links such misunderstanding with some of the very political constraints under which Cooper labored. This promises to be the kind of book about which people will say, ‘Wow! How can we have missed out on all this?’" —Elizabeth V. Spelman, Smith College, author of Fruits of Sorrow: Framing Our Attention to Suffering

"May has accomplished a major feat: she has given one of the greatest philosophical and political thinkers of the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century her intellectual due." — African American Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415956420
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 2/28/2007
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface     vii
Foreword   Beverly Guy-Sheftall     xi
Acknowledgments     xv
Introduction: "A Woman of Rare Courage and Conviction"     1
"A little more than ordinary interest in the underprivileged": Cooper's Lifelong Commitment to Liberation     13
"Life must be something more than dilettante speculation": Cooper's Multidimensional Praxis     45
"If you object to imaginary lines - don't draw them!": Cooper's Border-Crossing Methods     79
"Failing at the most essential provision of the revolutionary ideal": Lessons from France and Haiti's Transatlantic Struggle over Abolition and Egalite     107
Mapping Sites of Power: Cooper's Redefinition of "the philosophic mind"     141
Tracing Resistant Legacies, Rethinking Intellectual Genealogies: Reflections on Cooper's Black Feminist Theorizing     169
Notes     189
References     205
Index     225
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