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Race for CitizenshipBlack Orientalism and Asian Uplift from Pre-Emancipation to Neoliberal America$
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Helen Heran Jun

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814742976

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814742976.001.0001

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“When and Where I Enter …”

“When and Where I Enter …”

Orientalism in Anna Julia Cooper’s Narratives of Modern Black Womanhood

(p.33) 2 “When and Where I Enter …”
Race for Citizenship

Helen Heran Jun

NYU Press

This chapter focuses on the work of the nineteenth-century black female intellectual Anna Julia Cooper and examines why discourses of Oriental difference were crucial to her paradigm of black feminism, given her contradictory formation as a Western intellectual. Cooper's well-known advocacy for black women's education and her discourse of modern black womanhood necessarily depart from the struggle for black inclusion as articulated in the black press. She has little concern with suffrage or formal rights of citizenship, producing instead a narrative of black female enlightenment that is largely established on tropes of the subjugated Oriental woman. Her efforts to distance black women and the space of America from the underdeveloped, tyrannical Orient disclose the barbaric modern history of black female subjugation in the Americas.

Keywords:   Anna Cooper, black feminism, black womanhood, black inclusion, black women, black female subjugation

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