Emancipation's Daughters: Reimagining Black Femininity and the National Body
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—have challenged white-centered definitions of American identity. By using the rhetoric of motherhood and focusing on families and children, these leaders have defied racist images of black women, such as the mammy or the welfare queen, and rewritten scripts of femininity designed to exclude black women from civic participation. Richardson shows that these women's 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.
This book is freely available in an open access edition thanks to TOME (Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem)—a collaboration of the Association of American Universities, the Association of University Presses, and the Association of Research Libraries—and the generous support of Cornell University. Learn more at the TOME website, available at: openmonographs.org. Funding from Cornell University made it possible to open this publication to the world. Duke University Press gratefully acknowledges the support of the Hull Memorial Publication Fund of Cornell University, which provided funds toward the publication of this book.
Duke University Press
African American women > Political activity > History > 20th century; African American women > Political activity > History > 21st century; African American leadership > United States; Leadership in women > United States
Previously Published As
Richardson, Riché. 2021. Emancipation's Daughters: Reimagining Black Femininity and the National Body. Duke University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1215/9781478012504
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