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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, she focuses 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 American.
About the Author
JOY JAMES is Professor of Political Theory, Department of Africana Studies at Brown University. Her books include Transcending the Talented Tenth: Black Leaders and American Intellectuals and The Angela Y. Davis Reader.