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Democracy's ReconstructionThinking Politically with W.E.B. Du Bois$
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Lawrie Balfour

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195377293

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195377293.001.0001

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Five. Representative Women: Slavery and the Gendered Ground of Citizenship

Five. Representative Women: Slavery and the Gendered Ground of Citizenship

Chapter:
(p.97) Five. Representative Women: Slavery and the Gendered Ground of Citizenship
Source:
Democracy's Reconstruction
Author(s):

Lawrie Balfour (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195377293.003.0005

This chapter focuses on the 1920 essay “The Damnation of Women,” Du Bois's collective biography of African American women. Despite the masculinism that defines much of his writing, and the tensions that qualify even his strongest arguments on behalf of gender equality, this essay demands that readers grapple with the meaning of “womanhood” and “citizenship” through the lens of black women's history. It also reorients feminist citizenship theory in the United States by demonstrating the need to go beyond reckoning with race to confront the lingering shadows of slavery.

Keywords:   W. E. B. Du Bois, The Damnation of Women, African American women, gender equality, womanhood, citizenship, race, slavery

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