Womanpower Unlimited and the Black Freedom Struggle in Mississippi by Tiyi M. Morris
ABOUT THE BOOK
Womanpower Unlimited and the Black Freedom Struggle in Mississippi, provides the first comprehensive examination of the Jackson, Mississippi–based women’s organization Womanpower Unlimited. Founded in 1961 by Clarie Collins Harvey, the organization was created initially to provide aid to the Freedom Riders who were unjustly arrested and then tortured in Mississippi jails. Womanpower Unlimited expanded its activism to include programs such as voter registration drives, youth education, and participation in the international organization, Women Strike for Peace. Proving to be not only a significant organization with regard to civil rights activism in Mississippi, Womanpower Unlimited also spearheaded a movement for revitalizing black women’s social and political activism in the state. (more…)
Mary McLeod Bethune in Washington, DC: Activism and Education in Logan Circle (2013).
The condition of the African American woman presents a peculiar position. At the nexus of two marginalized groups—African Americans and women—her worldview provides her with a unique vision where humanity is able to breathe freely, harness their strengths and live full lives. Through collective action in the form of the club movements as well as via individual endeavors, these women made their voices heard. Thus, the extraordinary life of Mary McLeod Bethune—which spanned two centuries, two world wars and the Great Depression–contributed significantly to this tradition. She was an educator, race leader and humanitarian. This work examines the life of Bethune when she resided in Washington, D.C., from 1943 to 1949. During this brief window of time, she grew the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) from a small organization intended for greatness into a national organization that became the leading voice of Negro women’s activism/agency.
Sisters in the Statehouse: Black Women and Legislative Decision Making
As Sisters in the Statehouse shows, it is not enough to disaggregate “women” from “Blacks.” While scholars have long advanced the notion that African American women as a group exhibit specificities informed by the intersection of race and gender that provide them with a unique worldview, it is necessary to further explore differences among Black women. This book addresses this gap by utilizing humanistic inquiry to examine the connection between descriptive and substantive representation in the case of Black women legislators. This link hinges on how such legislators see the effects of their own race-gender identity on their legislative work. By combining humanistic and social science techniques, including feminist life histories, elite interviews, and participant observation in conjunction with legislative case studies and bill sponsorship data, Nadia E. Brown presents a fuller description of how identity informs Black women state legislators’ descriptive and substantive representation. Linking personal narratives to political behavior, Brown elicits the feminist life histories of African American women legislators to understand how their experiences with racism and sexism have influenced their legislative decision-making and policy preferences. Sisters in the Statehouse is a groundbreaking inquiry into how an intersectional approach can enhance our understanding of political representation.