The Carter G. Woodson Institute, U.Va.

The Carter G. Woodson Institute

for African-American and African Studies at the University of Virginia

Moses

Under the direction of Michael Awkward, “A House to Sing In” considers the lives, times, and cultural expressions of Amina Baraka, Nina Simone, and Elaine Brown. By studying these three black revolutionary women together, I consider the extent to which they simultaneously complied with and resisted gendered formulations of revolutionary identities. I challenge African American Studies’ dichotomous misrecognition of black women as either extraordinary because they are, as Joy James states, “not bound to a male persona,” or ordinary because they are publicly bound to a male persona. I deploy the term “Extra/Ordinary” to argue that the reality of black women’s experiences comprises both the extraordinary and the ordinary. My scholarship differs from case studies of black revolutionary women as solely exceptional warriors on the front lines of the black freedom struggle in that I highlight considerations of their day-to-day experiences as wives, mothers, and lovers.

First Name: 
Janée A.
Position: 
Post-Doctoral (American Culture)
Photo: 
Classification: 
Institution: 
University of Michigan
Dissertation Title: 
A House to Sing In: Extra/Ordinary Black Women’s Narratives about Black Power