Womanist Forefathers: Frederick Douglass and W. E. B. Du Bois

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SUNY Press, Sep 10, 2009 - Social Science - 221 pages
What role did African American men have in the early twentieth-century struggle for women s suffrage? How is gender significant to the historical and contemporary struggles for African American liberation? In Womanist Forefathers, Gary L. Lemons examines the memoirs and political writings on women by Frederick Douglass and W. E. B. Du Bois, positioning these radical proponents of female equality as womanist forefathers to later generations of gender progressive black men. Lemons argues that the writings of Douglass and Du Bois, which merge confessional narrative with social criticism, demonstrate the power of pro-womanist thinking in the vision of racial uplift both men advanced. Womanist Forefathers then traces the lineage between these early African American activists to contemporary pro-feminist black men, many of whom have similarly combined analyses of the personal with the political to envision a black male brotherhood founded on womanist principles, free from nationalism rooted in patriarchy, heterosexism, and homophobia.
 

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Contents

Black Men Writing Ourselves into Prowomanist Beings in the Name of the Black Maternal
1
Reclaiming Frederick Douglass and W E B Du Bois as Womanist Forefathers
11
A Recovered Past Most Usable Documenting the History of Black Male Gender Progressivism
13
Frederick Douglasss Journey from Slavery to Womanist Manhood Liberating the Black Male Self
23
W E B Du Bois The Leading Male Feminist of His Time and Most Passionate Defender of Black Women
53
Novel for the Darker Sisters The Quest of the Silver Fleece and W E B Du Boiss Vision of the Quintessential Black Womanist
81
Black Feminist Sisters Brothers and Fathers Securing the Womanist Legacy
113
Black Male Professional Autocritography
115
Brotherhood Called into Question
127
A Vision of Prowomanist Masculinity for a NewBlackManhood
145
Handson Practice Everyday Challenges of ProWomanist Feminist Fatherhood
163
This Is What a Black Male Feminist Looks Like Time Has Brought about a Change
191
Notes
201
Works Cited
205
Index
211
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Gary L. Lemons is Visiting Professor of English at the University of South Florida and author of Black Male Outsider: Teaching as a Pro-Feminist Man, also published by SUNY Press.

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