Check out recent work from WGFC editors and board members!
UNTIL I AM FREE: Fannie Lou Hamer’s Enduring Message to America (Beacon Press 2021)
Keisha N. Blain, WGFC guest editor
“We have a long fight and this fight is not mine alone, but you are not free whether you are white or black, until I am free.”
—Fannie Lou Hamer
A blend of social commentary, biography, and intellectual history, Until I Am Free is a manifesto for anyone committed to social justice. The book challenges us to listen to a working-poor and disabled Black woman activist and intellectual of the civil rights movement as we grapple with contemporary concerns around race, inequality, and social justice.
Award-winning historian and New York Times best-selling author Keisha N. Blain situates Fannie Lou Hamer as a key political thinker alongside leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Rosa Parks and demonstrates how her ideas remain salient for a new generation of activists committed to dismantling systems of oppression in the United States and across the globe.
Despite her limited material resources and the myriad challenges she endured as a Black woman living in poverty in Mississippi, Hamer committed herself to making a difference in the lives of others. She refused to be sidelined in the movement and refused to be intimidated by those of higher social status and with better jobs and education. In these pages, Hamer’s words and ideas take center stage, allowing us all to hear the activist’s voice and deeply engage her words, as though we had the privilege to sit right beside her.
More than 40 years since Hamer’s death in 1977, her words still speak truth to power, laying bare the faults in American society and offering valuable insights on how we might yet continue the fight to help the nation live up to its core ideals of “equality and justice for all.”
Includes a photo insert featuring Hamer at civil rights marches, participating in the Democratic National Convention, testifying before Congress, and more.
Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019 (Penguin Random House 2021)
Edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain (WGFC guest editor)
The story begins in 1619—a year before the Mayflower—when the White Lion disgorges “some 20-and-odd Negroes” onto the shores of Virginia, inaugurating the African presence in what would become the United States. It takes us to the present, when African Americans, descendants of those on the White Lion and a thousand other routes to this country, continue a journey defined by inhuman oppression, visionary struggles, stunning achievements, and millions of ordinary lives passing through extraordinary history.
Four Hundred Souls is a unique one-volume “community” history of African Americans. The editors, Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain, have assembled ninety brilliant writers, each of whom takes on a five-year period of that four-hundred-year span. The writers explore their periods through a variety of techniques: historical essays, short stories, personal vignettes, and fiery polemics. They approach history from various perspectives: through the eyes of towering historical icons or the untold stories of ordinary people; through places, laws, and objects. While themes of resistance and struggle, of hope and reinvention, course through the book, this collection of diverse pieces from ninety different minds, reflecting ninety different perspectives, fundamentally deconstructs the idea that Africans in America are a monolith—instead it unlocks the startling range of experiences and ideas that have always existed within the community of Blackness.
This is a history that illuminates our past and gives us new ways of thinking about our future, written by the most vital and essential voices of our present.
Teaching Haiti: Strategies for Creating New Narratives (University of Florida Press, 2021)
Edited by Cécile Accilien (WGFC executive board member) and Valérie K. Orlando
This volume is the first to focus on teaching about Haiti’s complex history and culture from a multidisciplinary perspective. Making broad connections between Haiti and the rest of the Caribbean, contributors provide pedagogical guidance on how to approach the country from different lenses in course curricula. They offer practical suggestions, theories on a wide variety of texts, examples of syllabi, and classroom experiences.
Teaching Haiti dispels stereotypes associating Haiti with disaster, poverty, and negative ideas of Vodou, going beyond the simplistic neocolonial, imperialist, and racist descriptions often found in literary and historical accounts. Instructors in diverse subject areas discuss ways of reshaping old narratives through women’s and gender studies, poetry, theater, art, religion, language, politics, history, and popular culture, and they advocate for including Haiti in American and Latin American studies courses.
Portraying Haiti not as “the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere” but as a nation with a multifaceted culture that plays an important part on the world’s stage, this volume offers valuable lessons about Haiti’s past and present related to immigration, migration, locality, and globality. The essays remind us that these themes are increasingly relevant in an era in which teachers are often called to address neoliberalist views and practices and isolationist politics.
Handbook of Critical Race Theory in Education, 2nd Edition (Routledge 2021)
Edited by Marvin Lynn and Adrienne D. Dixson (WGFC executive board member)
This handbook illustrates how education scholars employ Critical Race Theory (CRT) as a framework to bring attention to issues of race and racism in education. It is the first authoritative reference work to provide a truly comprehensive description and analysis of the topic, from the defining conceptual principles of CRT in Law that gave shape to its radical underpinnings to the political and social implications of the field today. It is divided into six sections, covering innovations in educational research, policy and practice in both schools and in higher education, and the increasing interdisciplinary nature of critical race research. New chapters broaden the scope of theoretical lenses to include LatCrit, AsianCrit and Critical Race Feminism, as well as coverage of Disability Studies, Research Methods, and other recent updates to the field. This handbook remains the definitive statement on the state of critical race theory in education and on its possibilities for the future.
Decarcerating Disability: Deinstitutionalization and Prison Abolition (University of Minnesota Press 2020)
Author: Liat Ben-Moshe, WGFC guest editor
Prison abolition and decarceration are increasingly debated, but it is often without taking into account the largest exodus of people from carceral facilities in the twentieth century: the closure of disability institutions and psychiatric hospitals. Decarcerating Disability provides a much-needed corrective, combining a genealogy of deinstitutionalization with critiques of the current prison system.
Liat Ben-Moshe provides groundbreaking case studies that show how abolition is not an unattainable goal but rather a reality, and how it plays out in different arenas of incarceration—antipsychiatry, the field of intellectual disabilities, and the fight against the prison-industrial complex. Ben-Moshe discusses a range of topics, including why deinstitutionalization is often wrongly blamed for the rise in incarceration; who resists decarceration and deinstitutionalization, and the coalitions opposing such resistance; and how understanding deinstitutionalization as a form of residential integration makes visible intersections with racial desegregation. By connecting deinstitutionalization with prison abolition, Decarcerating Disability also illuminates some of the limitations of disability rights and inclusion discourses, as well as tactics such as litigation, in securing freedom.
Decarcerating Disability’s rich analysis of lived experience, history, and culture helps to chart a way out of a failing system of incarceration.
The Oxford Handbook of Sexual and Gender Minority Mental Health (Oxford University Press 2020)
Edited by Esther D. Rothblum, WGFC executive board member
The Oxford Handbook of Sexual and Gender Minority Mental Health provides an overview of the current research on the mental health of sexual and gender minority (SGM) populations. It is aimed at researchers conducting studies on the mental health of SGM populations, clinicians and researchers interested in psychiatric disorders that affect SGM populations, clinicians using evidence-based practice in the treatment of SGM patients/clients, students in mental health programs (clinical psychology, psychiatry, clinical social work, and psychiatric nursing), and policy makers. The twenty-first century has seen improvements in sampling, use of longitudinal research, mixed methods research, statistical methods for research, and funding opportunities for research with SGM populations. Nevertheless, the purpose of this Handbook is to point out the gaps in the research as well as the advances, in order to motivate future researchers to expand knowledge about SGM mental health. As this volume goes to press, the current socio-political context in many nations includes both progress and backlash, with laws and policies including protections for SGM individuals in some countries, and laws and policies denying protections in others. All of these changes will impact SGM individuals, mental health researchers, and especially young people coming of age in this era.
“Rural African Americans’ Family Relationships and Well-Being” in Rural Families and Communities in the United States, edited by Jennifer E. Glick, Susan M. McHale, and Valarie King (Springer 2020)
Author: Velma McBride Murry (WGFC executive board member), Shauna M. Cooper, Marketa Burnett, and Misha N. Inniss-Thompson
Book description: This book examines the implications of rural residence for adolescents and families in the United States, addressing both the developmental and mental health difficulties they face. Special attention is given to the unique circumstances of minority families residing in rural areas and how these families navigate challenges as well as their sources of resilience. Chapters describe approaches for enhancing the well-being of rural minority youth and their families. In addition, chapters discuss the challenges of conducting research within rural populations and propose new frameworks for studying these diverse communities. Finally, the volume offers recommendations for reducing the barriers to health and positive development in rural settings.
Featured topics include:
- Changes in work and family structures in the rural United States.
- Rural job loss to offshoring and automation.
- The opioid crisis in the rural United States.
- Prosocial behaviors in rural U.S. Latino/a youth.
- Demographic changes across nonmetropolitan areas.
Rural Families and Communities in the United States is a must-have resource for researchers, professors, clinicians, professionals, and graduate students in developmental psychology, family studies, public health as well as numerous interrelated disciplines, including sociology, demography, social work, prevention science, educational policy, political science, and economics.
The Routledge Handbook to the Culture and Media of the Americas (Routledge 2020)
Edited By Wilfried Raussert, Giselle Liza Anatol (WGFC executive board member), Sebastian Thies, Sarah Corona Berkin, José Carlos Lozano
Exploring the culture and media of the Americas, this handbook places particular emphasis on collective and intertwined experiences and focuses on the transnational or hemispheric dimensions of cultural flows and geocultural imaginaries that shape the literature, arts, media and other cultural expressions in the Americas.
The Routledge Handbook to the Culture and Media of the Americas charts the pervasive, asymmetrical flows of cultural products and capital and their importance in the development of the Americas. The volume offers a comprehensive understanding of how inter-American communication is constituted, framed and structured, and covers the artistic and political dimensions that have shaped literature, art and popular culture in the region. Forty-six chapters cover a range of inter-American key concepts and dynamics, divided into two parts:
- Literature and Music deals with inter-American entanglements of artistic expressions in the Western Hemisphere, including music, dance, literary genres and developments.
- Media and Visual Cultures explores the inter-American dimension of media production in the hemisphere, including cinema and television, photography and art, journalism, radio, digital culture and issues such as freedom of expression and intellectual property.
This multidisciplinary approach will be of interest to a broad array of academic scholars and students in history, sociology, political science; and cultural, postcolonial, gender, literary, globalization and media studies.
“Blurring the Borders of the Human: Hybridized Bodies in Literature and Folklore” in Border Transgression and Reconfiguration of Caribbean Spaces, edited by Myriam Moïse and Fred Réno (Springer Link 2020)
Author: Giselle Liza Anatol, WGFC executive board member
Book description: A dividing line, the border is usually perceived in terms of separation and rupture. It is a site of tension par excellence, at the origin of contestations, negotiations, and other conflicting patterns of inclusion/exclusion. This book takes us through an exploration of the border in the Caribbean, a region that is both geographically fragmented and strongly interconnected through its history, culture, and people. This collection of scholarly articles interrogates the border within the specificities of the Caribbean context, including its socio-political dynamics and literary and artistic representations. Contributors thus apply critical perspectives to the study of border transgressions and the resultant reconfigurations of space in the Caribbean and its diaspora. The volume takes a transdisciplinary approach that spans the social sciences, cultural geography, geopolitics, cultural studies, and literary studies, and offers a truly global perspective on the subject. The contents of the book also stretch beyond geographic and linguistic borders, as the contributors come from diverse scholarly backgrounds, institutions, linguistic areas, and areas of research expertise.
Black Love Matters: Authentic Men’s Voices on Marriages and Romantic Relationships (Rowman & Littlefield 2020)
Author: Armon R. Perry, WGFC executive board member
Black Love Matters is an in-depth qualitative analysis that focuses on a diverse group of adult black men and their attitudes towards behavior in marriage and romantic relationships. To give voice to the men’s narratives, Black Love Matters follows the men for four years, chronicling the experiences and the circumstances shaping their relationship trajectories. Highlights include discussions related to the roles that sex, infidelity, intimacy, trauma, family of origin, masculinity, and environmental factors play in the men’s attitudes and behaviors. Given the dearth of literature on black men featuring first-hand accounts from them, Black Love Matters makes a significant contribution to the existing literature that seems to be disproportionately focused on implicating black men in discussions of what ills their families and communities.
Subjects: social science, ethnic studies, African American studies, sociology, marriage & family
“De-Racializing Representations of Femininity and the Marketing of Latinidad: Zoe Saldaña and L’Oreal’s True Match Campaign” in Theories of the Flesh: Latinx and Latin American Feminisms, Transformation, and Resistance, edited by Andrea J. Pitts, Mariana Ortega, and José Medina (Oxford University Press 2020)
Authors: Carmen R. Lugo-Lugo (WGFC executive board member) and Mary K. Bloodsworth-Lugo
Book description: Theories of the Flesh includes new work by many prominent theorists and up-and-coming scholars in the fields of Latinx and Latin American feminist philosophy. Provides a rich interdisciplinary and intersectional analysis of Latinx and Latin American identities and socio-political discourses. Offers new directions for future research in Latin American and Latinx feminist philosophy.
African Women, ICT and Neoliberal Politics: The Challenge of Gendered Digital Divides to People-Centered Governance (Routledge 2019)
Author: Assata Zerai, WGFC executive board member
How can we promote people-centered governance in Africa? Cell phones/ information and communications technology (ICT) are shown to be linked to neoliberal understandings of more democratic governance structures, defined by the Worldwide Governance Indicators as: the rule of law, corruption-control, regulation quality, government effectiveness, political stability/no violence, and voice and accountability. However, these indicators fall short: they do note emphasize gender equity or pro-poor policies.
Writing from an African feminist scholar-activist perspective, Assata Zerai emphasizes the voices of women in two ways: (1) she examines how women’s access to ICT makes a difference to the success of people-centered governance structures; and (2) she demonstrates how African women’s scholarship, too often marginalized, must be used to expand and redefine the goals and indicators of democratice governance in African countries.
Challenging the status quo that praises the contributions of cell phones to the diffusion of knowledge and resultant better governance in Africa, this book is an important read for scholars of politics and technology, gender and politics, and African Studies.
“Pull the Sorrow from Between My Legs: Lemonade as Rumination on Reproduction and Loss” in The Lemonade Reader: Beyoncé, Black Feminism and Spirituality, edited by Kinitra D. Brooks, Kameelah L. Martin (Routledge 2019)
Author: LaKisha M. Simmons, WGFC guest editor
Book description: The Lemonade Reader is an interdisciplinary collection that explores the nuances of Beyoncé’s 2016 visual album, Lemonade. The essays and editorials present fresh, cutting-edge scholarship fueled by contemporary thoughts on film, material culture, religion, and black feminism.
Envisioned as an educational tool to support and guide discussions of the visual album at postgraduate and undergraduate levels, The Lemonade Reader critiques Lemonade’s multiple Afrodiasporic influences, visual aesthetics, narrative arc of grief and healing, and ethnomusicological reach. The essays, written by both scholars and popular bloggers, reflects a broad yet uniquely specific black feminist investigation into constructions of race, gender, spirituality, and southern identity.
The Lemonade Reader gathers a newer generation of black feminist scholars to engage in intellectual discourse and confront the emotional labor around the Lemonade phenomena. It is the premiere source for examining Lemonade, a text that will continue to have a lasting impact on black women’s studies and popular culture.
“An Examination of Race, Class, and Gender in School Choice Policies” in Handbook of Research on School Choice, edited by Mark Berends, Ann Primus, and Matthew G. Springer (Routledge 2019)
Authors: Adrienne Dixson (WGFC executive board member), Chaddrick James-Gallaway, Nancy D. Cardenas, and Ruqayyah Perkins-Williams
This chapter reviews the large body of literature described as school choice. Specifically, it examines three areas: charter schools, vouchers, and magnet schools. These education reform policies are premised on the notion of addressing racial inequity by offering parents and students—particularly those of color—options that ensure that schools are racially diverse. To the contrary, the chapter argues that such policies reflect broader societal inequities along race and class and goes on to look more closely at these inequities across those three domains. The chapter intentionally centers race, class, and gender as its analytical focus with a scholarly skepticism of what it views as neoliberal education policies.
“The Roots of Black American Women’s Internationalism: Migrations of the Spirit and the Heart” in Women and Migration: Responses in Art and History, edited by Deborah Willis, Ellyn Toscano and Kalia Brooks Nelson (Open Book Publishers 2019)
Author: Francille Rusan Wilson, WGFC executive board member
Book description: The essays in this book chart how women’s profound and turbulent experiences of migration have been articulated in writing, photography, art and film. As a whole, the volume gives an impression of a wide range of migratory events from women’s perspectives, covering the Caribbean Diaspora, refugees and slavery through the various lenses of politics and war, love and family.The contributors, which include academics and artists, offer both personal and critical points of view on the artistic and historical repositories of these experiences. Selfies, motherhood, violence and Hollywood all feature in this substantial treasure-trove of women’s joy and suffering, disaster and delight, place, memory and identity.
This collection appeals to artists and scholars of the humanities, particularly within the social sciences; though there is much to recommend it to creatives seeking inspiration or counsel on the issue of migratory experiences.
Faith and Struggle in the Lives of Four African Americans: Ethel Waters, Mary Lou Williams, Eldridge Cleaver, and Muhammad Ali (Bloomsbury 2019)
Author: Randal Maurice Jelks, WGFC guest editor
In 1964, Muhammad Ali said of his decision to join the Nation of Islam: “I know where I’m going and I know the truth and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want to be.”
This sentiment, the brash assertion of individual freedom, informs and empowers each of the four personalities profiled in this book. Randal Maurice Jelks shows that to understand the black American experience beyond the larger narratives of enslavement, emancipation, and Black Lives Matter, we need to hear the individual stories. Drawing on his own experiences growing up as a religious African American, he shows that the inner history of black Americans in the 20th century is a story worthy of telling.
This book explores the faith stories of four African Americans: Ethel Waters, Mary Lou Williams, Eldridge Cleaver, and Muhammad Ali. It examines their autobiographical writings, interviews, speeches, letters, and memorable performances to understand how each of these figures used religious faith publicly to reconcile deep personal struggles, voice their concerns for human dignity, and reinvent their public image. For them, liberation was not simply defined by material or legal wellbeing, but by a spiritual search for community and personal wholeness.
Across the Great Divide: The Sent-down Youth Movement in Mao’s China, 1968–1980 (Cambridge University Press 2019)
Authors: Emily Honig and Xiaojian Zhao (WGFC executive board member)
The sent-down youth movement, a Maoist project that relocated urban youth to remote rural areas for ‘re-education’, is often viewed as a defining feature of China’s Cultural Revolution and emblematic of the intense suffering and hardship of the period. Drawing on rich archival research focused on Shanghai’s youth in village settlements in remote regions, this history of the movement pays particular attention to how it was informed by and affected the critical issue of urban-rural relations in the People’s Republic of China. It highlights divisions, as well as connections, created by the movement, particularly the conflicts and collaborations between urban and rural officials. Instead of chronicling a story of victims of a monolithic state, Honig and Zhao show how participants in the movement – the sent-down youth, their parents, and local government officials – disregarded, circumvented, and manipulated state policy, ultimately undermining a decade-long Maoist project.
- Presents highly original research based on new material from local archives
- Integrates a rural perspective into the history of the sent-down youth movement
- Questions received narratives privileging the voices of urban youth
“Taking it to the Streets: Critical Race Theory, Participatory Research and Social Justice” in Understanding Critical Race Research Methods and Methodologies, edited by Jessica T. DeCuir-Gunby, Thandeka K. Chapman, and Paul A. Schutz (Routledge 2018)
Author: Adrienne D. Dixson (WGFC executive board member), Arcasia James, Brittany L. Frieson
This multi-vocal, collaborative project explores intersections of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Participatory Action Research (PAR) to argue for meaningful educational research that fosters social justice. We investigate the possibilities of designing and carrying out research that centers and privileges the experiential knowledge and counter-stories of African Americans. We reflect on ethical commitments and difficult points of access that create challenges in our work. Our reflections culminate in shared lessons and consistent themes threaded across their projects that represent a guide for educational researchers who draw on CRT, are committed to social justice, interrogate difficult yet generative research questions, and methodologies.