From slave cabins to the White House : homemade citizenship in African American culture / Koritha Mitchell.

Mitchell, Koritha [Browse]
Urbana : University of Illinois Press, [2020]
1 online resource (xi, 274 pages) : illustrations.


Summary note
"Most Americans would agree that devoted wives and mothers make families strong and that strong families are the bedrock of society. Yet, throughout this nation's history, black women have managed to become model mothers and wives, but their doing so has not kept them from being mistaken for "welfare queens" and "baby mamas," the stereotypes that most consistently shape U.S. public policy. In this book, Koritha Mitchell shows the evolving connections between black women's homemaking and citizenship from domesticities of the slave cabin and to Michelle Obama in the White House. Drawing on canonical texts by and about African American women, Mitchell begins by connecting the roles of black women as rape survivor, race mother, single lady, matriarch, the strong black woman, and the evolving black women to the various roles that the site of the home served in the eras of post-emancipation, the New Negro, Civil Rights, post-civil rights, and the "post-racial." By looking at key protagonists in literary texts by authors like Frances Harper, Zora Neale Hurston, Lorraine Hansberry, Octavia Butler, and Alice Walker, Mitchell exposes us to the palpable tension that emerges when African Americans, especially women, continue to invest in traditional domesticity even while seeing the signs that it will not yield for them the respectability and safety it should--black women might become decent housekeepers, but never homemakers. All in all, the confluence of these domestic locations and scripts shows that at every juncture, the home was a site where African American women and families negotiated and reasserted their citizenship in a society and culture that consistently and persistently continues to marginalize and assert violence against African Americans, regardless of how they met standards of respectability and citizenry"-- Provided by publisher.
Bibliographic references
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Source of description
Description based on online resource; title from digital title page (viewed on September 11, 2020).
Other title(s)
Homemade citizenship in African American culture
  • 025205220X (electronic book)
  • 9780252052200 (electronic book)
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