Reading List: Women, Gender, and Black Internationalism
Here’s the assigned reading list for my graduate seminar on women, gender, and Black internationalism. The seminar explores the complex dynamics of Black internationalism, focusing on the global visions; transnational activities; and transracial political alliances of people of African descent in the United States and in other parts of the globe. Highlighting the writings, speeches, activism, and overseas travel of a diverse group of men and women, this course employs a gender analysis and moves Black women from the margins to the center of the Black internationalist story. The seminar examines varied expressions of Black internationalism in the United States and abroad from the 18th century to the Civil Rights-Black Power era. It engages two key questions: how was Black women’s engagement in internationalism similar to and/or different from their male counterparts? And to what extent did Black women merge internationalism with issues of women’s rights and/or feminist concerns? Course readings represent a combination of primary and secondary sources that reflect the geographical breadth of the African Diaspora including Africa, the Americas, and Europe.
Theorizing Gender and Black Internationalism
- Michael O. West and William G. Martin, “Contours of the Black International,” in From Toussaint to Tupac: The Black International Since the Age of Revolution, pp. 1-46.
- Keisha N. Blain and Tiffany Gill, “Black Women and the Complexities of Internationalism,” in To Turn the Whole World Over: Black Women and Internationalism, pp. 1-14.
- Colin Palmer, “Defining and Studying the Modern African Diaspora,” in Perspectives: American Historical Association,Newsletter 36, no. 6 (1998): 22-25.
- Tiffany Ruby Patterson and Robin D. G. Kelley, “Unfinished Migrations: Reflections on the African Diaspora and the Making of the Modern World,” African Studies Review 43.1 (April 2000): 11–45.
- Stuart Hall, “Cultural Identity and Diaspora,”  in Jana Evans Braziel and Anita Mannur, eds., Theorizing Diaspora: A Reader (2003), pp. 233-246.
- Joan W. Scott, “Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis,” The American Historical Review, Vol. 91, No. 5. (Dec. 1986): 1053-1075.
African Americans, Haiti, and Legacies of the Haitian Revolution
- Michael O. West and William G. Martin, “‘Haiti, I’m Sorry’: The Haitian Revolution and the Forging of the Black International,” in From Toussaint to Tupac, pp. 72-106.
- Brandon R. Byrd, “‘We Are Negroes!’: The Haitian Zambo, Racial Spectacle, and the Performance of Black Women’s Internationalism, 1863–1877,” in To Turn the Whole World Over: Black Women and Internationalism, pp. 15-37.
- Millery Polyné, Chapter 1: “The Spirit of the Age Establishes a Sentiment of Universal Brotherhood: Haiti, Santo Domingo, and Frederick Douglass at the Intersection of the United States and Black Pan Americanism” and Chapter 6: “To Carry the Dance of the People Beyond: Jean Léon Destiné, Lavinia Williams, and Danse Folklorique Haïtienne” in From Douglass to Duvalier: U.S. African Americans, Haiti, and Pan Americanism, 1870-1964, pp. 25-55; 154-179.
- Kim Gallon, “Black Women’s Internationalism and the Chicago Defender during the ‘Golden Age of Haitian Tourism,’” in To Turn the Whole World Over, pp. 55-73.
Race, Religion, and Transatlantic Journeys in the Age of the Slave Trade
- Jon Sensbach, Rebecca’s Revival: Creating Black Christianity in the Atlantic World.
- Nancy Prince, “West Indies,” in A Narrative of the Life and Travels of Mrs. Nancy Prince (1850)
Transnational Networks in Latin America and the Caribbean
- Frank Guridy, Forging Diaspora: Afro-Cubans and African Americans in a World of Empire and Jim Crow.
- Lara Putnam, “Nothing Matters but Color: Transnational Circuits, the Interwar Caribbean and the Black International,” in From Toussaint to Tupac, pp. 107-129.
Pan-Africanism, Garveyism, and Global Visions of Africa
- Adam Ewing, The Age of Garvey: How a Jamaican Activist Created a Mass Movement and Changed Global Black Politics.
- Robert Trent Vinson, “‘Hidden’ in Plain Sight: Toward a History of Garveyite Women in South Africa and the Increased Visibility of Africa in Global Garveyism,” in Global Garveyism, eds. Ronald Stephens and Adam Ewing, pp. 182-204.
Women, Gender Politics, and Black (Inter)nationalism
- Keisha N. Blain, Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom.
- Asia Leeds, “Toward the ‘Higher Type of Womanhood’: The Gendered Contours of Garveyism and the Making of Redemptive Geographies in Costa Rica, 1922–1941,” Palimpsest: A Journal on Women, Gender and the Black International 2. No. 1 (Fall 2013): 1-27.
Race, Identity, and Performance
- T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting, Bricktop’s Paris: African American Women in Paris between the Two World Wars.
- Nicole Anae, “‘They Will All Be My Color’: Nina Mae McKinney and Black Internationalism in 1930s Australia,” in To Turn the Whole World Over, pp. 123-148.
Race, Resistance, and Empire in Europe
- Kennetta Hammond Perry, London is the Place for Me: Black Britons, Citizenship, and the Politics of Race.
- Imaobong Umoren, “Black and Feminist Internationalism in Interwar Europe, 1920-1935,” in Race Women Internationalists: Activist-Intellectuals and Global Freedom Struggles, pp. 11-36.
- Anne Donlon, “Thyra Edwards’s Spanish Civil War Scrapbook: Black Women’s Internationalist Writing,” in To Turn the Whole World Over, 101-122.
Black Leftist Politics and Feminist Networks
- Erik S. McDuffie, Sojourning for Freedom: Black Women, American Communism, and the Making of Black Left Feminism.
- Annette K. Joseph-Gabriel, “Feminist Networks and Diasporic Practices: Eslanda Robeson’s Travels in Africa,” in To Turn the Whole World Over, pp. 38-54.
- Tiffany N. Florvil, “‘Distant Ties’: May Ayim’s Transnational Solidarity and Activism,” in To Turn the Whole World Over, 74-98.
Visions of Afro-Asian Solidarity
- Robeson Taj Frazier, The East is Black: Cold War China in the Black Radical Imagination.
- Keisha N. Blain, “‘[F]or the Rights of Dark People in Every Part of the World’: Pearl Sherrod, Black Internationalist Feminism, and Afro-Asian Politics in the 1930s,” Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society, Vol. 17, No. 1 (June 2015): 90-112.
- Dayo F. Gore, “‘A Common Rallying Call’: Vicki Garvin in China and the Making of US Third World Solidarity Politics,” in To Turn the Whole World Over, pp. 235-256.
Visions of Afro-Asian Solidarity (II)
- Nico Slate, Colored Cosmopolitanism: The Shared Struggle for Freedom in the United States and India.
- Shailaja Paik, “Building Bridges: Articulating Dalit and African American Women’s Solidarity,” Women’s Studies Quarterly, 42, No. 3/4 (2014): 74-96.
Civil Rights and Black Power
- Ashley D. Farmer, Remaking Black Power: How Black Women Transformed an Era.
- Grace Leslie, “‘United, We Build a Free World’: The Internationalism of Mary McLeod Bethune and the National Council of Negro Women,” in To Turn the Whole World Over, pp. 192-218.
- Julia Erin Wood, “‘What That Meant to Me’: SNCC Women, the 1964 Guinea Trip, and Black Internationalism,” in To Turn the Whole World Over, pp. 219-234.
- Quito Swan, “Giving Berth: Fiji, Black Women’s Internationalism, and the Pacific Women’s Conference of 1975,” Journal of Civil and Human Rights, 4, No. 1 (July 2018): 37-63.
- Stephanie Beck Cohen, “Stitched Networks: Liberian Quilters, Transatlantic Diplomacy, and Community,” in To Turn the Whole World Over, 149-168.