Reading List: Women, Gender, and Black Internationalism

The UNIA’s African Motor Corps Marching in Harlem in 1924 (George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty Images).

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

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

Transnational Networks in Latin America and the Caribbean

Pan-Africanism, Garveyism, and Global Visions of Africa

Women, Gender Politics, and Black (Inter)nationalism

Race, Identity, and Performance

Race, Resistance, and Empire in Europe

Black Leftist Politics and Feminist Networks

Visions of Afro-Asian Solidarity

Visions of Afro-Asian Solidarity (II)

Civil Rights and Black Power