Beyond Respectability charts the development of African American women as public intellectuals and the evolution of their thought from the end of the 1800s through the Black Power era of the 1970s. Eschewing the Great Race Man paradigm so prominent in contemporary discourse, Brittney C. Cooper looks at the far-reaching intellectual achievements of female thinkers and activists like Anna Julia Cooper, Mary Church Terrell, Fannie Barrier Williams, Pauli Murray, and Toni Cade Bambara. Cooper delves into the processes that transformed these women and others into racial leadership figures, including long-overdue discussions of their theoretical output and personal experiences. As Cooper shows, their body of work critically reshaped our understandings of race and gender discourse. It also confronted entrenched ideas of howand whoproduced racial knowledge.
About the Author
Brittney C. Cooper is an assistant professor of women's and gender studies at Rutgers University.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Duly of the True Race Woman 11
Chapter 1 Organized Anxiety: The National Association of Colored Women and the Creation of the Black Public Sphere 33
Chapter 2 "Proper, Dignified Agitation": The Evolution of Mary Church Terrell 57
Chapter 3 Queering Jane Crow: Pauli Murray's Quest for an Unhyphenated Identity 87
Chapter 4 The Problems and Possibilities of the Negro Woman Intellectual 115
Selected Bibliography 175