History Department
History Department

IHS Book Talk: "Remaking Black Power: How Black Women Transformed an Era" by Ashley D. Farmer, University of Texas at Austin (History Faculty New Book Talk)

Thu, September 13, 2018 | GAR 4.100

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM

The History Faculty New Book Series presents:

Remaking Black Power: How Black Women Transformed an Era
(University of North Carolina Press, October 2017)

A book talk and discussion with
Ashley D. Farmer
Assistant Professor of History and African and African Diaspora Studies
University of Texas at Austin
Dr. Farmer's web site

In this comprehensive history, Ashley D. Farmer examines black women’s political, social, and cultural engagement with Black Power ideals and organizations. Complicating the assumption that sexism relegated black women to the margins of the movement, Farmer demonstrates how female activists fought for more inclusive understandings of Black Power and social justice by developing new ideas about black womanhood. This compelling book shows how the new tropes of womanhood that they created--the “Militant Black Domestic,” the “Revolutionary Black Woman,” and the “Third World Woman,” for instance--spurred debate among activists over the importance of women and gender to Black Power organizing, causing many of the era’s organizations and leaders to critique patriarchy and support gender equality.

Making use of a vast and untapped array of black women’s artwork, political cartoons, manifestos, and political essays that they produced as members of groups such as the Black Panther Party and the Congress of African People, Farmer reveals how black women activists reimagined black womanhood, challenged sexism, and redefined the meaning of race, gender, and identity in American life.

“An in-depth scholarly analysis of Black Nationalist movements, feminism, and art. Recommended for a scholarly audience.”--Library Journal

“The compelling analysis and clear prose make this book a must-read for anyone who desires a more nuanced understanding of Black Power beyond the works by and about the select few men who are more commonly recognized as the movement’s leaders.”--Public Books

Remaking Black Power is an indispensable triumph. Painstakingly researched, artfully organized, crisply argued, utterly insightful, Ashley Farmer has remade Black Power scholarship like the black women she chronicles. This book unveils and dissects what has been hidden from the Black Power–era for far too long: the black woman as theorist.”--Ibram X. Kendi, National Book Award-winning author of Stamped from the Beginning

“Farmer’s astute reading of visuals and print culture produced by black women not only resets the chronological clock of the Black Power era but also shifts our gaze from the well-worn paternalistic utterings of male leaders to women who imagined empowerment on their own terms by developing ideologies, rituals, and texts that redefined who they were and, in some cases, who they wanted to be.”--Ula Yvette Taylor, author of The Promise of Patriarchy

“This is one of the most sophisticated, nuanced, and analytically rigorous explorations of Black Power that I have had the pleasure to read. No other study on the subject is this substantively focused and theoretically sharp.”—Jeffrey O. G. Ogbar, University of Connecticut

Dr. Farmer is a historian of black women's history, intellectual history, and radical politics. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Departments of History and the African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Her book, Remaking Black Power: How Black Women Transformed an Era,  (UNC Press, 2017), is the first comprehensive study of black women's intellectual production and activism in the Black Power era.  She is also the co-editor of New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition (NUP Press, 2018), an anthology that examines four central themes within the black intellectual tradition: black internationalism, religion and spirituality, racial politics and struggles for social justice, and black radicalism. 

Dr. Farmer's scholarship has appeared in numerous venues including The Black Scholar and The Journal of African American History. Her research has also been featured in several popular outlets including VibeNPR, and CSPAN. The Center for American Politics at Harvard University, the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University, the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Research on Women and Politics at Iowa State University, and the American Association of University Women (AAUW) have supported her research. She is also a leader of the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS) and a regular blogger for Black Perspectives. Dr. Farmer earned her BA from Spelman College, an MA in History and a Ph.D. in African American Studies from Harvard University.  She is also the Co-Editor and Curator of the Black Power Series with Ibram X. Kendi, published with NYU Press.  Dr. Farmer lives in Austin, TX and tweets from @drashleyfarmer.

Please RSVP to cmeador@austin.utexas.edu to reserve your seat and receive a copy of the reading selection to be discussed. This discussion is part of the IHS' History Faculty New Book Talk Series.

Sponsored by: Institute for Historical Studies in the Department of History

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