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Black Internationalist FeminismWomen Writers of the Black Left, 1945-1995$
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Cheryl Higashida

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036507

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036507.001.0001

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Reading Maya Angelou, Reading Black Internationalist Feminism Today

Reading Maya Angelou, Reading Black Internationalist Feminism Today

(p.158) 6 Reading Maya Angelou, Reading Black Internationalist Feminism Today
Black Internationalist Feminism

Cheryl Higashida

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines selections from Maya Angelou's autobiographies, identifying late-twentieth-century legacy of the post-World War II anticolonial Black Left. On one hand, Angelou's autobiographies contest the historiographic erasure of African Americans' internationalist identifications in the Bandung era, especially as they were animated by Black women. On the other hand, Angelou contributes to this erasure by emphasizing personal triumph and individual identity formation over sociohistorical narrative. Indeed, Angelou's remarkable popularity and cultural capital come at the expense of the revolutionary politics shared with comrades who have been exiled, persecuted, or otherwise banished from public memory. The chapter then considers how her writings and career provide an avenue for reclaiming Black feminism's postwar internationalist routes.

Keywords:   Maya Angelou, anticolonial Black Left, Bandung era, Black women, revolutionary politics, Black feminism

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