“Offers fresh insights into nineteenth-century black women’s cultural production. Compelling and elegantly crafted.”—Kathy L. Glass, author of Courting Communities: Black Female Nationalism and “Syncre-Nationalism” in the Nineteenth-Century North
“Outstanding in explaining why these figures were important leaders in their own time and are important models today. A truly engaging and significant study.”—John Ernest, editor of Douglass in His Own Time
Looking closely at nineteenth-century texts and twentieth-century novels written by African American women about antebellum America, Resistance Reimagined highlights examples of black women’s activism within a society that spoke so much of freedom but granted it so selectively. This book introduces readers to types of resistance that differ from the militancy and violence often associated with activism, and it confronts expectations about what African American literature can and should be.
Regis Fox analyzes the work of authors including Anna Julia Cooper, Elizabeth Keckly, Harriet Wilson, and Sherley Anne Williams. Connected by their intellectualism, these thinkers are astutely attuned to the areas of American society that notions of liberalism and progress do not reach. The world they portray in their work is built on philosophical contradictions, legal paradoxes, and incoherent social practices that support white supremacy. Fox shows how these women use their writing to protest antiblack violence, reject superficial reform, call for major sociopolitical change, and challenge the false promises of American democracy.
Regis M. Fox is assistant professor of English at Grand Valley State University.