Black Women’s Labor: Economics, Culture, and Politics | Souls: Vol 18, No 1 (June 2016)


Margaretta Van Wagenen, 1874. Photographer: George N. Barnard

“Building community is often as fraught with internal tensions as it is with external pressures. The reconsideration of black women’s roles in civil rights and black power communities represents a major turn in the history of black women’s labor. This new archival excavation reveals masculinist and traditional institutional narratives of organizations and struggles as obscuring black women’s stories and political interventions. In addition, by acknowledging civil rights activism as “work” and the long struggle for freedom as integral to working-class black women’s labor struggles, scholars bring to our consciousness gender and contemporary women as actors in ways that consciously re-write U.S., and more specifically, African American history. Women’s activism and labor, historically considered as at best isolated and unique and at worst, marginal, is now revealed as central to the making of African Americans as a people in the 19th and 20th centuries.”

– Prudence Cumberbatch, Dayo F. Gore & Sarah Haley

Source: Guest Editors’ Note: Souls: Vol 18, No 1


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