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Black Internationalist Feminism examines how African American women writers affiliated themselves with the post-World War II Black Communist Left and developed a distinct strand of feminism. This vital yet largely overlooked feminist tradition built upon and critically retheorized the postwar Left's "nationalist internationalism," which connected the liberation of Blacks in the United States to the liberation of Third World nations and the worldwide proletariat. Black internationalist feminism critiques racist, heteronormative, and masculinist articulations of nationalism while maintaining the importance of national liberation movements for achieving Black women's social, political, and economic rights.
Cheryl Higashida shows how Claudia Jones, Lorraine Hansberry, Alice Childress, Rosa Guy, Audre Lorde, and Maya Angelou worked within and against established literary forms to demonstrate that nationalist internationalism was linked to struggles against heterosexism and patriarchy. Exploring a diverse range of plays, novels, essays, poetry, and reportage, Higashida illustrates how literature is a crucial lens for studying Black internationalist feminism because these authors were at the forefront of bringing the perspectives and problems of black women to light against their marginalization and silencing.
In examining writing by Black Left women from 1945–1995, Black Internationalist Feminism contributes to recent efforts to rehistoricize the Old Left, Civil Rights, Black Power, and second-wave Black women's movements.Baker & Taylor
Describes how African American women writers affiliated themselves with the post-World War II Black Communist Left and developed a distinct strand of feminism.Book News
Examining a wide range of literature, this work on black internationalist feminism explores the ways in which African American women writers of the post World War II era influenced the wider discourse surrounding social and political revolution around the world and brought feminist issues to the fore in discussions of national liberation movements. The volume presents a discussion of writers such as Lorraine Hansberry, Alice Childress, Rosa Guy and Maya Angelou, and traces the heritage of black feminism through struggles for national liberation around the world. While academic in nature, the text is written in an accessible style and will appeal to students of feminist studies as well as readers with an interest in leftist literature and race in American history. Higashida is a professor of English at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)