Dark Continent Of Our Bodies: Black Feminism & Politics Of Respectability

Dark Continent Of Our Bodies: Black Feminism & Politics Of Respectability

by E. Frances White

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In this provocative book, a black lesbian feminist looks at black feminism-its roots, its role, and its implications. From Charles Darwin and nineteenth-century racism to black nationalism and the Nation of Islam, from Baptist women's groups to James Baldwin; E. Frances White takes on one institution after another as she re-centers the role of black women in the United States' intellectual heritage. White presents identity politics as a complex activity, with entangled branches of race and gender, of invisibility and voyeurism, of defiance and passivity and conformism.

White's powerful introduction draws on oral narratives from her own family history to illuminate the nature of narrative, both what is said and what is left unsaid. She then sets the historical stage with a helpful history of the inception and development of black feminism and a critique of major black feminist writings. In the three chapters that follow, she addresses the obstacles black feminism has already surmounted and must continue to traverse. Confronting what White calls "the politics of respectability," these chapters move the reader from simplistic views of race and gender in the nineteenth century through black nationalism and the radical movements of the sixties, and their relationship to feminist thought, to the linkages between race, gender, and sexuality in the works of such giants as Toni Morrison and James Baldwin. No one who finishes Dark Continent of Our Bodies will look at race and gender in the same way again.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439905449
Publisher: Temple University Press
Publication date: 06/21/2010
Series: Maping Racisms
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 208
File size: 260 KB

About the Author

Historian E. Frances White is Dean of the Gallatin School of Individualized Study of New York University.

Table of Contents

1. Black Feminist Interventions
2. The Dark Continent of Our Bodies: Constructing Science, Race, and Womanhood in the Nineteenth Century
3. Africa on My Mind: Gender, Counterdiscourse, and African-American Nationalism
4. The Evidence of Things Not Seen: The Alchemy of Race and Sexuality

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