Black Internationalist Feminism: Women Writers of the Black by Cheryl Higashida

By Cheryl Higashida



Black Internationalist Feminism examines how African American ladies writers affiliated themselves with the post-World warfare II Black Communist Left and constructed a special strand of feminism. This important but principally ignored feminist culture equipped upon and significantly retheorized the postwar Left's "nationalist internationalism," which attached the liberation of Blacks within the usa to the liberation of 3rd global countries and the global proletariat. Black internationalist feminism evaluations racist, heteronormative, and masculinist articulations of nationalism whereas keeping the significance of nationwide liberation activities for attaining Black women's social, political, and financial rights.


Cheryl Higashida indicates how Claudia Jones, Lorraine Hansberry, Alice Childress, Rosa man, Audre Lorde, and Maya Angelou labored inside of and opposed to validated literary kinds to illustrate that nationalist internationalism was once associated with struggles opposed to heterosexism and patriarchy. Exploring a various diversity of performs, novels, essays, poetry, and reportage, Higashida illustrates how literature is a vital lens for learning Black internationalist feminism simply because those authors have been on the leading edge of bringing the views and difficulties of black girls to gentle opposed to their marginalization and silencing.


In interpreting writing by way of Black Left ladies from 1945–1995, Black Internationalist Feminism contributes to contemporary efforts to rehistoricize the outdated Left, Civil Rights, Black strength, and second-wave Black women's movements.

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Additional resources for Black Internationalist Feminism: Women Writers of the Black Left, 1945-1995

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B.  A consideration of the at-times-implicit views of gender and sexuality expressed in Graham Du Bois’s writing would flesh out her evolving Third World nationalism and clarify her relationship to Black Left feminists such as Claudia Jones, Esther Cooper Jackson, and Lorraine Hansberry. In contrast to the prolific Graham Du Bois, Sarah Wright published one volume of poetry (Give Me a Child, 1955), one work of young adult nonfiction (A. Philip Randolph: Integration in the Workplace, 1990), and a handful of critical essays in addition to her only novel, This Child’s Gonna Live (1969).

Inspired by Russian, African, and Haitian writers’ efforts to depict the land and peasantry of their respective countries, This Child’s Gonna Live exemplified Black national culture as it was defined by Leftists such as the African American novelist 30 .  However, Wright’s novel did more than simply express the Black nation; it presented a forceful feminist critique of nationalist aspirations for land and community control that were predicated on the sexual oppression of Black women. ” Nonetheless, this redemptive moment is actualized only by challenging the heteropatriarchal familial relations underlying bourgeois nationhood.

Homosocial working-class bonds were solidified by demonizing white women, who were no longer virtuous prizes to be defended by white men against Black men (as pro-lynching white supremacists proposed). Instead, within Communist anti-lynching propaganda, white women were the whores of capitalism to be rejected in favor of a united interracial brotherhood of the proletariat.  Jones’s intersectional analysis of race, gender, and class also reflected the internationalism of the Black Belt Nation Thesis that African Americans in the South constituted a nation “oppressed by American imperialism, in the ultimate sense as India is oppressed by British nationalism and Indonesia 24 .

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