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