Invisibility Blues: From Pop to Theory

Overview

First published in 1990, Michele Wallace’s Invisibility Blues is widely regarded as a landmark in the history of black feminism. Wallace’s considerations of the black experience in America include recollections of her early life in Harlem; a look at the continued underrepresentation of black voices in politics, media, and culture; and the legacy of such figures as Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Cade Bambara, Toni Morrison, and Alice Walker. Wallace addresses the tensions between race, gender, and society, bringing them...
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Overview

First published in 1990, Michele Wallace’s Invisibility Blues is widely regarded as a landmark in the history of black feminism. Wallace’s considerations of the black experience in America include recollections of her early life in Harlem; a look at the continued underrepresentation of black voices in politics, media, and culture; and the legacy of such figures as Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Cade Bambara, Toni Morrison, and Alice Walker. Wallace addresses the tensions between race, gender, and society, bringing them into the open with a singular mix of literary virtuosity and scholarly rigor.

With an updated introduction, this new edition of Invisibility Blues challenges and informs with the plain-spoken truth that has made it an acknowledged classic.

In the shifting and conflicting currents of recent cultural criticism and theory, no space is more ambiguous or difficult to define that that of black feminism. In ths new book, Michele Wallace posses the questions that an emergent black feminist theory must answer.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Invisibility Blues shows why Michele Wallace has long been at the forefront of African-American cultural criticism.”—Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

“Michele Wallace is one of the most talented and provocative cultural critics now writing in the USA. Listen and learn!”—Cornel West

“Michele Wallace keeps her eyes open and her wits about her. Scrupulously fair, honest, clever and wise.”—Angela Carter

Invisibility Blues is a warm book, even a hopeful one. Simultaneously confident and vulnerable, full of hard-earned insights into American culture and un-starry-eyed evaluations of the available role models, it is the unfinished saga of a proud outsider trying to make a place for herself and her sisters.”—Lucy R. Lippard

“Courageous ... outspoken ... clear-eyed.”—Publishers Weekly

“Wonderful ... original.”—Susan Brown Miller

Library Journal
In these 24 essays, written from 1972 to 1990, the author aims to ``comprehend the high visibility '' of black women in American culture ``together with their almost total lack of voice . '' This perspective necessarily gives her a different viewpoint than that of white middle-class feminists. Many of the essays reflect ideas first developed in her previous work, Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman ( LJ 3/1/79), which is being republished in tandem with this new book. Wallace combines the techniques of autobiography and literary criticism with allusions to pop culture and the women of her acquaintance (such as her artist mother, Faith Ringgold) to create a rich, impassioned social commentary. A valuable work for both public and academic collections.-- Janice Braun, Medical Historical Lib . , Yale Univ.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844672868
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 7/17/2008
  • Series: Haymarket Series
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 267
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Michele Wallace earned her Ph.D. in Cinema Studies at New York University. She is a professor of English at the City College of New York and the CUNY Graduate Center. Her seminal book Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman is also available from Verso.

Mike Davis is the author of several books including Planet of Slums, City of Quartz, Ecology of Fear, Late Victorian Holocausts, and Magical Urbanism. He was recently awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. He lives in Papa’aloa, Hawaii.

Michael Sprinker was Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. His Imaginary Relations: Aesthetics and Ideology in the History of Historical Materialism and History and Ideology in Proust are also published by Verso. Together with Mike Davis, he founded Verso’s Haymarket Series and guided it until his death in 1999.

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