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"We Must Be Up and Doing"

A Reader in Early African American Feminisms

edited by Teresa C. Zackodnik

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african american
list price: $37.75
edition:Paperback
published: 2010
ISBN:9781551119175
publisher: Broadview Press
Description

African American women have been “up and doing” for their communities for as long as they have been in the United States, and their ability to resist the institution of slavery was central to the survival of African Americans. This anthology gives readers access to African American feminist thought in its foundational period by drawing together key documents from the late 1820s through the 1920s.

Going beyond a focus on the “greats” of black feminism to include lesser known figures, “We Must Be Up and Doing” offers a broad and contextualized look at the critical mass early black feminism achieved by including a variety of genres, such as the spiritual autobiography, the platform speech, periodical articles, pamphlets, fiction, and excerpts from convention and conference proceedings.

 

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Contributor notes

Teresa C. Zackodnik is Professor of English at the University of Alberta. She is the author of The Mulatta and the Politics of Race (University of Mississippi Press, 2004) and editor of African American Feminisms 1828–1924 (Routledge, 2007) in the Routledge History of Feminisms series.

 

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Editorial Review

“From a rich but generally unknown tradition of African American women’s political and social writing, Teresa C. Zackodnik has chosen judiciously to bring us a volume that is both instructive and interesting. ‘We Must Be Up and Doing’ takes its rightful place in the twenty-first-century renaissance of Black Women’s Studies that bridges dangerous gaps between theory and practice, town and gown, us and them.” — Frances Smith Foster, Emory University

“This is a very important book, not least of all for its inclusion of nineteenth-century women preachers named as and among early black feminists. Teresa C. Zackodnik does an excellent job of situating their reform efforts in the appropriate contexts of white women’s abolitionism, black male Protestantism’s religious missions, and US religious revivalism more broadly. I continue to be amazed by the difficult terrain early black feminists had to traverse, and more so by the ground they did cover despite the difficulty. As Zackodnik ably demonstrates, these women showed a dexterity and flexibility, a nimbleness of vision and thought without compromising conviction or goal, that few others were required to exert.” — Joycelyn Moody, University of Texas at San Antonio

‘We Must be Up and Doing’ will be of immense value to anyone interested in American literary and cultural history, and it will be an essential book for anyone interested in the history and diversity of African American feminist thought. Superbly edited and annotated by Teresa C. Zackodnik, this collection makes available many previously inaccessible orations and essays that place the better known feminist statements, also included here, in useful context. Like only a handful of other publication ventures over the past few decades, ‘We Must be Up and Doing’ will encourage, aid, and direct scholarship on the subject for years to come.” — John Ernest, West Virginia University

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