Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Beyond RespectabilityThe Intellectual Thought of Race Women$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Brittney C. Cooper

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040993

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040993.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use (for details see www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 19 November 2018

The Duty of the True Race Woman

The Duty of the True Race Woman

(p.11) Introduction The Duty of the True Race Woman
Beyond Respectability

Brittney C. Cooper

University of Illinois Press

What does it mean and what has it meant to be a Black female intellectual? What does it mean to be a race woman? When and where are the sites of race women’s becoming? Brittney Cooper argues that to arrive at an answer to the first question, we must diligently interrogate and examine the latter questions. Race women were the first Black women intellectuals. As they entered into public racial leadership roles beyond the church in the decades after Reconstruction, they explicitly fashioned for themselves a public duty to serve their people through diligent and careful intellectual work and attention to “proving the intellectual character” of the race. Pauline Hopkins declared two key tasks attached to the work of the “true race-woman.” They were “to study” and “to discuss” “all phases of the race question.” Not only were these women institution builders and activists; they declared themselves public thinkers on race questions. Though Hopkins and her colleagues were part of a critical mass of public Black women thinkers in the 1890s, they joined a longer list of Black women who had been at the forefront of debates over “the woman question” and the role of Black women in public life throughout the 1800s.

Keywords:   race women, intellectual genealogy, Black female intellectual, intellectual history, Anna Julie Cooper, Mary Church Terrell, Fannie Barrier Williams, Pauli Murray, Toni Cade Cambara

Illinois Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.