Cover image for Shadowboxing : representations of black feminist politics
Shadowboxing : representations of black feminist politics
James, Joy, 1958-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
xv, 224 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


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Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E185.86 .J35 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Shadowboxing presents an explosive analysis of the history and practice of black feminisms, drawing upon political theory, history, and cultural studies in a sweepingly interdisciplinary work. Joy James charts new territory by synthesizing theories of social movements with cultural and identity politics. She brings into the spotlight images of black female agency and intellectualism in radical and anti-radical political contexts. From a comparative look at Ida B. Wells, Ella Baker, Angela Davis, and Assata Shakur to analyses of the black woman in white cinema and the black man in feminist coalitions, these essays focus attention on the invisible or the forgotten. James convincingly demonstrates how images of powerful women are either consigned to oblivion or transformed into icons robbed of intellectual power. Shadowboxing honors and analyzes the work of black activists and intellectuals and, along the way, redefines the sharp divide between intellectual work and political movements. A daringly original study, this book changes what it means to be America.

Author Notes

Joy James is Professor of Political Theory, Department of Africana Studies at Brown University

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Using many of the same historical figures found in Transcending the Talented Tenth (LJ 11/1/96), James (ethnic studies, Univ. of Colorado at Boulder) rejects the liberalism of conventional black feminism for a radical agenda, which, in the tradition of black feminists Ella Baker and Ida B. Wells, targets capitalism and the state as perpetuators of race, class, and gender oppression. Their legacy of radicalism and activism is juxtaposed to the black feminist praxis and thought of Angela Davis, Assata Shakur, and Elaine Brown. This book successfully demonstrates that black feminism is authentically rooted in the black community. Especially enlightening is James's discussion on "distinctions between black men championing black females as patriarchal protectors and black men championing feminism to challenge sexism." An interdisciplinary and well-analyzed representation of radical black women fighting for rights and visibility. Recommended for women's studies, African American studies, or political collections.√ĄSherri Barnes, Long Island Univ. Lib., Brooklyn (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Prefacep. xi
1. Introduction: Warrior Tropesp. 1
2. Forging Community: From Segregation to Transcendencep. 15
3. Protofeminists and Liberation Limbosp. 41
4. Radicalizing Feminisms from "The Movement" Erap. 73
5. Revolutionary Icons and "Neoslave Narratives"p. 93
6. Depoliticizing Representations: Sexual-Racial Stereotypesp. 123
7. Fostering Alliances: Black Male Profeminismsp. 151
8. Conclusion: Black Shadow Boxersp. 171
Notesp. 191
Indexp. 217