Black Feminist Politics From Kennedy To Obama

Paperback | March 15, 2011

byDuchess Harris

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Taking an interdisciplinary approach, this book analyzes Black women’s involvement in American political life, focusing on what they did to gain political power between 1961 and the present, and why, in many cases, they did not succeed. Duchess Harris demonstrates that Black women have tried to gain centrality through their participation in Presidential Commissions, Black feminist organizations, theatrical productions, film adaptations of literature, beauty pageants, electoral politics, and Presidential appointments. She contends that “success” in this area means that the feminist-identified Black women in the Congressional Black Caucus who voted against Clarence Thomas’s appointment would have spoken on behalf of Anita Hill; Senator Carol Moseley Braun would have won re-election; and Shirley Sherrod wouldn’t have been forced to resign from her USDA position. Harris contends that if this is truly a post-racial America, there should be no apprehension to discuss issues concerning racism at a national level.

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Taking an interdisciplinary approach, this book analyzes Black women’s involvement in American political life, focusing on what they did to gain political power between 1961 and the present, and why, in many cases, they did not succeed. Duchess Harris demonstrates that Black women have tried to gain centrality through their participati...

Duchess Harris, Ph.D., J.D., is an Associate Professor of American Studies at Macalester College. She is the co-editor with Bruce D. Baum of Racially Writing the Republic:  Racists, Race Rebels, and Transformations of American Identity. 

other books by Duchess Harris

Racially Writing the Republic: Racists, Race Rebels, and Transformations of American Identity
Racially Writing the Republic: Racists, Race Rebels, an...

Kobo ebook|Jul 8 2009

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.53 inPublished:March 15, 2011Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230112552

ISBN - 13:9780230112551

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Table of Contents

Part I: The ‘90s in Context: A History of Black Women in American Politics * Part II: A History of American Black Feminism * Part III: Black Women’s Relationships with Party Politics * Part IV: Doubting the Democrats: Current Disenchantment and Political Futures * Part V: The State of Black Women in Politics under the First Black President

Editorial Reviews

"There has to be something said for being able to succeed in concisely communcating the issue of Black feminism and politics, but I think Duchess Harris has done just that."--Feminist Review“A detailed account of how black women organized and identified themselves within the context of racism and black sexism in a capitalist society.”—CHOICE"I have been longing for a book that can conceptually interweave the legacy of the Combahee River Collective, the longstanding hostility by some in the black community toward the movie The Color Purple, and the political style of Congresswoman Barbara Lee. Black Feminist Politics from Kennedy to Clinton offers us a little known political history--it is required reading for any serious student and scholar of contemporary African American’s women’s political participation. This book provides readers a new and valuable conceptual landscape of how African American feminists have engaged electoral and cultural politics despite consistent and powerful opposition. What a refreshing and much needed addition!"--Michele Tracy Berger, Author of Workable Sisterhood: The Political Journey of Stigmatized Women with HIV/AIDS "Harris's analysis is both hopeful and disheartening.  On the one hand, Harris provides oral, archival and literary histories of Black women without whom neither the Black Power nor the feminist movements would have progressed.  On the other hand, Harris demonstrates that these movements, so beholden to Black women, have never adequately or fairly represented their needs and desires.  Worse, they have too often asked Black women to choose between identities, prioritizing one over others."--Christine E. Hutchins, On the Issues Magazine