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Reimagining Liberation: Black Women, Citizenship & the French Empire
April 3 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm EDT
The Baton Foundation, in partnership with the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, will host a virtual lecture about the decisive role Black women played in the decolonial movements of the mid-twentieth century. This program is free to the public, but registration is required.
About the Book
Black women living in the French empire played a key role in the decolonial movements of the mid-twentieth century. As thinkers and activists, these women lived lives of commitment and risk that landed them in war zones and concentration camps and saw them declared enemies of the state.
In Reimagining Liberation: How Black Women Transformed Citizenship in the French Empire (University of Illinois Press, 2020), Annette K. Joseph-Gabriel mines published writings and untapped archives to reveal the anticolonialist endeavors of seven women. Though often overlooked today, Suzanne Césaire, Paulette Nardal, Eugénie Éboué-Tell, Jane Vialle, Andrée Blouin, Aoua Kéita, and Eslanda Robeson took part in a forceful transnational movement. Their activism and thought challenged France’s imperial system by shaping forms of citizenship that encouraged multiple cultural and racial identities. Expanding the possibilities of belonging beyond national and even Francophone borders, these women imagined new pan-African and pan-Caribbean identities informed by Black feminist intellectual frameworks and practices. The visions they articulated also shifted the idea of citizenship itself, replacing a single form of collective identity and political participation with an expansive plurality of forms of belonging. PURCHASE BOOK HERE.
About the Author
Annette Joseph-Gabriel is an Associate Professor of Romance Studies at Duke University. Her research focuses on race, gender, and citizenship in the French-speaking Caribbean, Africa, and France. Her book, Reimagining Liberation: How Black Women Transformed Citizenship in the French Empire, was awarded the MLA Prize for a First Book. She has published articles in peer-reviewed journals including Small Axe, Slavery & Abolition, Eighteenth-Century Studies and The French Review, and her public writings have been featured in Al Jazeera and HuffPost. She is a recipient of the Carrie Chapman Catt Prize for Research on Women and Politics. She is also the managing editor of Palimpsest: A Journal on Women, Gender, and the Black International and production editor of Women in French Studies.