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This chapter calls upon both black southern feminist and indigenous critiques to wrestle with the legacy of Du Bois's black slave-as-worker thesis. Without discounting the world-historical value of Du Bois’s revision of Marx’s universal subject, this chapter puts pressure on the analytic dominance associated with the productive labor of the dark proletariat by asking the following question: what would happen to the future potentialities of the black radical tradition if we reassessed black radical historiography and its genealogies of resistance through the subjugated knowledges of southern black and indigenous women? Arguing for a reassessment of the revolutionary analytic of labor drawn from those whose subject positions remain peripheral to Du Bois’s imagined solidarity among the “basic majority of workers who are yellow, brown, and white,” this chapter examines a subversive black southern-inter/nationalist feminist literary tradition that troubles the emancipatory claims drawn from the now normative coupling of “blackness and labor” in order to activate futures that are unrealizable in the current terms of order.
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