Black Internationalist FeminismWomen Writers of the Black Left, 1945-1995

Black Internationalist FeminismWomen Writers of the Black Left, 1945-1995

Cheryl Higashida

Print publication date: 2017

ISBN: 9780252036507

Publisher: University of Illinois Press

Abstract

This book examines how African American women writers affiliated themselves with the post-World War II Black Communist Left and developed a distinct strand of feminism. This vital yet largely overlooked feminist tradition built upon and critically retheorized the postwar Left's “nationalist internationalism,” which connected the liberation of Blacks in the United States to the liberation of Third World nations and the worldwide proletariat. Exploring a diverse range of plays, novels, essays, poetry, and reportage, the book shows how Claudia Jones, Lorraine Hansberry, Alice Childress, Rosa Guy, Audre Lorde, and Maya Angelou worked within and against established literary forms to demonstrate that nationalist internationalism was linked to struggles against heterosexism and patriarchy. In examining writing by Black Left women from 1945 to 1995, this book contributes to recent efforts to rehistoricize the Old Left, Civil Rights, Black Power, and second-wave Black women's movements.