Emancipation′s Daughters

Re-Imagining Black Femininity and the National Body

Emancipation′s Daughters

Book Pages: 320 Illustrations: 15 illustrations Published: December 2020

African American Studies and Black Diaspora, American Studies, Gender and Sexuality > Feminism and Women’s Studies

In Emancipation's Daughters, Riché Richardson examines iconic black women leaders who have contested racial stereotypes and constructed new national narratives of black womanhood in the United States. Drawing on literary texts and cultural representations, Richardson shows how five emblematic black women—Mary McLeod Bethune, Rosa Parks, Condoleezza Rice, Michelle Obama, and Beyoncé—challenged white-centered definitions of American identity. By using the rhetoric of motherhood and focusing on families and children, these leaders defied racist images of black women, such as the mammy or the “welfare queen,” and rewrote scripts of femininity that were designed to exclude black women from civic participation. Richardson shows that their status as national icons was central to reconstructing black womanhood in ways that moved beyond dominant stereotypes. However, these formulations are often premised on heteronormativity and exclude black queer and trans women. Throughout Emancipation's Daughters, Richardson reveals new possibilities for inclusive models of blackness, national femininity, and democracy.



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Riché Richardson is Associate Professor of Africana Studies at Cornell University and author of Black Masculinity and the U.S. South: From Uncle Tom to Gangsta.

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Table of Contents Forthcoming
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-1097-5 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0991-7