Black Women's Intellectual Traditions: Speaking Their Minds

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An astonishing wealth of literary and intellectual work by nineteenth-century black women is being rediscovered and restored to print in scholarly and popular editions. In Kristin Waters’s and Carol B. Conaway’s landmark edited collection, Black Women’s Intellectual Traditions: Speaking Their Minds, sophisticated commentary on this rich body of work chronicles a powerful and interwoven legacy of activism based in social and political theories that helped shape the history of North America.

The book meticulously reclaims this American legacy, providing a collection of critical analyses of the primary sources and their vital traditions. Written by leading scholars, Black Women’s Intellectual Traditions is particularly powerful in its exploration of the pioneering thought and action of the nineteenth-century black woman lecturer and essayist Maria W. Stewart, abolitionist Sojourner Truth, novelist and poet Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, educator Anna Julia Cooper, newspaper editor Mary Ann Shadd Cary, and activist Ida B. Wells.

The distinguished contributors are Hazel V. Carby, Patricia Hill Collins, Karen Baker-Fletcher, Kristin Waters, R. Dianne Bartlow, Carol B. Conaway, Olga Idriss Davis, Vanessa Holford Diana, Evelyn Simien, Janice W. Fernheimer, Michelle N. Garfield, Joy James, Valerie Palmer-Mehta, Carla L. Peterson, Marilyn Richardson, Evelyn M. Simien, Ebony A. Utley, Mary Helen Washington, Melina Abdullah, and Lena Ampadu. The volume will interest scholars and readers of African-American and women’s studies, history, rhetoric, literature, poetry, sociology, political science, and philosophy.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The reader, whether familiar with the intellectuals and traditions covered in this text or seeking knowledge about them for the first time, is guaranteed to learn something new from this masterful collection of essays." —Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society

“Black Women's Intellectual Traditions challenges us not just to insert black women into feminist histories, but to expand and rework our definitions and histories of feminism and of African American intellectual traditions . . . Black Women's Intellectual Traditions is about the future as well as the past, and about what can be, as well as what has been, done. Its message should resonate with those in the academy and beyond, those explicitly identified as feminists and those who might deny (or be denied) that designation, and women and men of all races who seek to study, teach, and promote the black feminist vision of resistance to injustice.”—Journal of American History

"Kristen Waters and Carol Conaway's Black Women's Intellectual Traditions: Speaking their Minds is an interpretative examination and reclamation of the intellectual traditions of African American women in North America. This volume is skillfully crafted, prominently displaying black female intellectualism and activism that is centered in a "culture of resistance" and grounded in traditions born of their lived experiences. This anthology represents a new paradigm for understanding the historical and contemporary intellectual production of African American women . . . "
—The Journal of African American History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781584656340
  • Publisher: Vermont
  • Publication date: 4/30/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 1,015,864
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

KRISTIN WATERS is Professor of Philosophy at Worcester State College and editor of Women and Men Political Theorists: Enlightened Conversations (2000). CAROL B. CONAWAY is Assistant Professor of Communications at the University of New Hampshire, and an expert on the press and race relations.
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Table of Contents

Introduction - Carol B. Conaway and Kristin Waters
Maria W. Stewart: America’s First Black Woman Political Writer - Marilyn Richardson
Maria W. Stewart and the Rhetoric of Black Preaching: Perspectives on Womanism and Black Nationalism - Lena Ampadu
A Woman Made of Words: The Rhetorical Invention of Maria W. Stewart - Ebony A. Utley
“No Throw-away Woman”: Maria W. Stewart as a Forerunner of Black Feminist Thought - R. Dianne Bartlow
"Hear My Voice, Ye Careless Daughters”: Narratives of Slave and Free Women before Emancipation - Hazel V. Carby
Literary Societies: The Work of Self-Improvement and Racial Uplift - Michelle N. Garfield
“A Sign unto This Nation”: Sojourner Truth, History, Orature, and Modernity - Carla L. Peterson
Narrative Patternings of Resistance in Frances E. W. Harper’s Iola Leroy and Pauline Hopkins’ Contending Forces - Vanessa Holford Diana
“We Are All Bound Up Together”: Frances Harper and Feminist Theory - Valerie Palmer-Mehta
Mary Ann Shadd Cary: A Visionary of the Black Press - Carol B. Conaway
Anna Julia Cooper: A Voice from the South - Mary Helen Washington
A Singing Something: Womanist Reflections on Anna Julia Cooper - Karen Baker-Fletcher
Arguing from Difference: Cooper, Emerson, Guizot, and a More Harmonious America - Janice W. Fernheimer
“I Rose and Found My Voice”: Claiming “Voice” in the Rhetoric of Ida B. Wells - Olga Idriss Davis
The Emergence of a Black Feminist Leadership Model: African-American Women and Political Activism in the Nineteenth Century - Melina Abdullah
Shadowboxing: Liberation Limbos—Ida B. Wells - Joy James
Some Core Themes of Nineteenth-Century Black Feminism - Kristin Waters
The Politics of Black Feminist Thought - Patricia Hill Collins
Black Feminist Theory: Charting a Course for Black Women’s Studies in Political Science - Evelyn M. Simien
Selected Bibliography
Notes on Contributors
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