Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

In Search of the Black Women's History Archive

  • Ashley D. Farmer

Extract

Questions of evidence have sat at the center of black women's history since the field entered the academy over thirty years ago. Historians of black women's lives and labors have filled bookshelves by “mining the forgotten” to render them visible. Scholarship pioneered in the 1980s and 1990s established black women as prominent and indispensable historical actors, and key to understanding such eras as slavery, the Civil War, and the Civil Rights movement. Subsequent works built upon the bedrock that these initial studies provided, incorporating nuanced gender analyses into the history of black women's thought, experiences, and political action. The past ten years have seen a proliferation of publications that have extended the reach of the field to include such genres and approaches as girlhood studies, intellectual history, and black internationalism. This groundswell of research has foregrounded a persistent methodological quandary for scholars of black women's history: how should they address the paradox of simultaneously finding copious archival records on some black women, while also accounting for the deafening archival silence on others?

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      In Search of the Black Women's History Archive
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      In Search of the Black Women's History Archive
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      In Search of the Black Women's History Archive
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

References

Hide All

1 White, Deborah Gray, “Mining the Forgotten: Manuscript Sources for Black Women's History,” Journal of American History 74, no. 1 (June 1987): 237–42.

2 Examples include, but are not limited, to White, Deborah Gray, Ar'n't I a Woman? Female Slaves in the Plantation South (New York, 1999); Hine, Darlene Clark and Gaspar, David Barry, More Than Chattel: Black Women and Slavery in the Americas (Bloomington, IN, 1996); Jones, Jacqueline, Labor of Love, Labor of Sorrow: Black Women, Work, and the Family from Slavery to the Present (New York, 1985); Robinson, Jo Ann, The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Women Who Started It (Knoxville, TN, 1987).

3 Examples include, but are not limited to, Simmons, LaKeisha Michelle, Crescent City Girls: The Lives of Black Women in Segregated New Orleans (Chapel Hill, NC, 2015); Cooper, Brittney, Beyond Respectability: The Intellectual Thought of Race Women (Urbana, IL, 2017); Farmer, Ashley, Remaking Black Power: How Black Women Transformed an Era (Chapel Hill, NC, 2017); Blain, Keisha N., Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom (Philadelphia, 2018).

4 Taylor, Ula, “Women in the Documents: Thoughts on Uncovering the Personal, Political, and Professional,” Journal of Women's History 20, no. 1 (Spring 2008): 187–96, here 189.

5 White, “Mining the Forgotten,” 237.

6 Fuentes, Marisa, Dispossessed Lives: Enslaved Women, Violence, and the Archive (Philadelphia, 2016), 3.

7 Fuentes, Dispossessed Lives, 5.

8 Fuentes, Dispossessed Lives, 14–15, 29.

9 Fuentes, Dispossessed Lives, 94, 78.

10 LeFlouria, Talitha, Chained in Silence: Black Women and Convict Labor in the New South (Chapel Hill, NC, 2015), 89.

11 LeFlouria, Chained in Silence, 16.

12 Gross, Kali Nicole, Hannah Mary Tabbs and the Disembodied Torso: A Tale of Race, Sex, and Violence in America (New York, 2016), 4.

13 Gross, Hannah Mary Tabbs, 5.

14 Gross, Hannah Mary Tabbs, 3.

15 Gross, Hannah Mary Tabbs, 4.

16 Harris, LaShawn, Sex Workers, Psychics, and Number Runners: Black Women in New York City's Underground Economy (Urbana, IL, 2016), 11.

17 Harris, Sex Workers, Psychics, and Number Runners, 5.

18 Harris, Sex Workers, Psychics, and Number Runners, 10.

19 Harris, Sex Workers, Psychics, and Number Runners, 134.

20 Gross, Hannah Mary Tabbs, 5.

21 Fuentes, Dispossessed Lives, 146.

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed