Call for submissions from African American women and girls
In 2008 African American attorney Michelle Obama who received an AB from Princeton and a law degree from Harvard became the First Lady of the United States. Given the fact that only 40 years before in their struggle for equality African Americans and the country experienced some of the worst race riots, Obama’s ascendance to the most powerful and visible position a woman could hold in the country represented progress. Her First Lady status also drew ire from those who wanted to maintain hegemonic norms and did not grasp or accept the idea of racial equality in the form of an African American First Lady.
Michelle Obama’s ascendance as the First Lady remained unprecedented as a woman of power in U.S. history, especially given her unmistakable brown skin, her open discussion of her heritage as the descendant of slaves, and her modest working class background. Ultimately Michelle Obama’s story embodied the American Dream, the ideology of “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.”
Given that the media never covered an African American First Lady she drew enormous attention. They featured affirming images of Obama on the cover of Black and white owned fashion magazines and on television. People also created websites such as Michelle O that followed and praised her fashion and style. The First Lady also faced a barrage of negative media representation and criticism. The New Yorker featured her on the cover as an Afro wearing masculinized terrorist, and the media used coded language that defined her as an “Angry Black woman.”
This interdisciplinary edited volume will explore African American women and girls’ visceral as well as intellectual response to Michelle Obama, as well as their response to the various representations of Obama. We will explore how the language and images used to depict Obama either affirmed, offended, represented or misrepresented her, and we will look at how this reflected and or impacted African American women and girls as a whole. Following in the tradition of early Black Studies publications we are accepting poems, artwork sent in a jpeg, essays (6,500 word maximum), short stories, and short plays (25 page maximum). Please send a 500 word abstract for the essay, short stories and short plays. We are accepting submissions from now until May 1, 2013. Please send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Michelle Duster is an independent writer, speaker, and personal historian. She has written articles, essays and compiled two books that include the original writing of her great-grandmother, Ida B. Wells – journalist, civil rights activist and suffragist. Ida In Her Own Words (2008) and Ida From Abroad (2010). She was also a contributor to the book In Spite of the Double Drawbacks: African American Women in History and Culture (2012). She earned her A.B. in Psychology from Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH, and her M.A. in Media Studies from The New School in New York City.
Dr. Paula Marie Seniors holds a BFA in Dance from the City College of New York, a MA in Musical Theater from New York University, and a MA and PhD in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, San Diego. She teaches in the Africana Studies and Sociology Departments at Virginia Tech. Seniors won the Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Prize from the Association of Black Women Historians for her book Beyond "Lift Every Voice and Sing:” The Culture of Uplift, Identity, and Politics in Black Musical Theater (2009). Seniors is currently working on the book manuscript “For Freedom Now:” African American Woman Radical Activists (1957-1990): Mae Mallory, the Monroe Defense Committee and African American Woman Sojourners of the Grenadian and Nicaraguan Revolution which examines the political lives of working class Mae Mallory, Mrs. Ethel Azalea Johnson, and Audrey Proctor. It explores why they chose radical activism, Maoism, Trotskyism, Cubanismo, and self-defense to promote civil rights. It also looks at why they aligned themselves with revolutionary governments in Tanzania, Nicaragua, and Grenada, linking the struggle for African American civil rights to international Revolutions.
Dr. Rose C. Thevenin is an Associate Professor of History at Florida Memorial University, Division of Social Sciences, where she teaches African-American History, Black Women’s History and Caribbean History. She was born and raised in Port-au-Price Haiti. Her degrees includes a Ph.D in American History from Michigan State University, a Master of Arts degree in American History from the University of Miami .
She is the Co-founder and Coordinator of Academic Institutions of the Florida Africana Studies Consortium (FLASC). She has served as the Chair of the Minority Affairs Committee and was a member of the John W. Blassingame Committee of the Southern Historical Association (SHA). She is the National Vice-Director of the Association of Women Historians (ABWH) and has published essays on the Black Panther Party.
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