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Beyond Respectability: The Intellectual Thought of Race Women

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  146 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Beyond Respectability charts the development of African American women as public intellectuals and the evolution of their thought from the end of the 1800s through the Black Power era of the 1970s. Eschewing the Great Race Man paradigm so prominent in contemporary discourse, Brittney C. Cooper looks at the far-reaching intellectual achievements of female thinkers and activ ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published May 3rd 2017 by University of Illinois Press
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Cherisse
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love this book because it reaffirmed what I have always known to be true, that black women were thinkers and activists. Brittany Cooper expertly centers black women as intellectuals and knowledge producers in a history that dates back to the nineteenth century. I especially loved the last line of the book, "Black women are serious thinkers, and it's our scholarly duty to take them seriously." I took my time reading Cooper's work because I wanted to "sit with it" and absorb every ounce of this ...more
Gabrielle
May 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In Beyond Respectability, Dr. Brittney Cooper affirms Black women's intellectual thought by tracing it's lineage beginning with figures like Pauline Hopkins, Anna Julia Cooper, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Pauli Murray, and Frances Barrier Williams. This work is not a biographical undertaking, but a reckoning that situates the history of Black women's intellectual thought as long, deep, and far reaching. She takes extreme care not to compare these women's theories against that of promeninent race men, ...more
Matt Sautman
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Brittney Cooper's genealogy of black American female intellectuals fills in the margins that Hazel Carby left open at the end of Reconstructing Womanhood. Cooper focuses principally on a genealogy that begins with Frances Williams and the start of the National Association of Colored Women and carries forward to Patricia Hill Collins and Alice Walker. Cooper's writing is easily accessible and thought provoking as she challenges both the need to keep these women authors in critical circulation and ...more
Jessica
Sep 18, 2020 rated it liked it
The content was really interesting, and it may be because of my own headspace right now or that I'm getting too old for the tiny font, but I had up and down responses to some of the arguments made. Or maybe it was a mixed reaction to how they were presented. Like chapter 4 was a delight and I was really engaged with the discussion about political theory (Black power and Black feminism) but chapter 3's treatment of Pauli Murray's personal life made me really uncomfortable.
Jenn
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
4.5/5
Review to come
Krystal
Apr 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book deconstructs the scholarship of black women about their existence, challenging such layers as race, class, and gender, with attention to detail, spanning historical thought to present.
April
Oct 11, 2020 rated it liked it
First of all, I wholeheartedly appreciate what this book sets out to do: it’s meant to treat the intellectual work of Black women, from Reconstruction on, as intellectual work, fully realizing that Black women’s thought work has been (and continues to be) unforgivably undertheorized and underrecognized. So in that sense, I am totally with Cooper on the importance of this work.

That being said, it says it goes “Beyond Respectability” in diving into the work of our forebears, but for me, it just..
...more
Jay Michelle Williams
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Put some respect on my mind!

I am a race woman, and I want my mind to be honored.

In Cooper's book, she elegantly reminds us of the women who marked the world with their thoughts (i.e., we have intellectuals like, Fannie Williams, Mary Terrell, Pauli Murry, Toni Bambara, and Anna Cooper who have aroused the public sphere.)
Gender roles and society's norms apropos of the sexes torment women today (although it is done covertly.)

Cooper shared with me the Black intellectual history vis-a-vis to femi
...more
Ari
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018
IQ "Anti respectable in its rejection of traditional gender roles, Blackhood as a form of revolutionary, queer, Black racial sociality, had the potential-and indeed even the intrinsic demand-to formulate new ideas about the performance of Black gender identities." (137)

BEYOND RESPECTABILITY is an engaging academic take on the contribution to feminism and history of these 'race women'. These women had to tackle class, gender and race issues as critics told them to keep quiet given their status as
...more
Lana Mitchell
Aug 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
"Beyond Respectability: The Intellectual Thought of Race Women" by Brittney Cooper was an interesting read. It has taken me some time to complete it because I initially found it to be dense and academic and put it aside for a while. When I returned, I found it much more enjoyable. I like the title, which is why I bought the book., and the information, research, and Cooper's perspective is new and refreshing in this time of works by and about African American women in history. Her work of "Puttin ...more
Phi Beta Kappa Authors
Brittney Cooper
ΦBK, Howard University, 2002
Author

From the publisher: Beyond Respectability charts the development of African American women as public intellectuals and the evolution of their thought from the end of the 1800s through the Black Power era of the 1970s. Eschewing the Great Race Man paradigm so prominent in contemporary discourse, Brittney C. Cooper looks at the far-reaching intellectual achievements of female thinkers and activists like Anna Julia Cooper, Mary Church Terrell, Fannie
...more
Camara Hudson
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So far, my favorite book of this year. The seriousness with which Cooper takes Black women intellectuals is refreshing and affirming. Despite the complexity of the language, this book is written accessibly. Without a doubt, this book should be included the syllabi of anyone teaching American/Modern Political Philosophy and Thought.
gnarlyhiker
May 04, 2017 rated it liked it
“Beyond Respectability: The Intellectual Thought of Race Women” is well-argued, well-written and informative. It is a perfect read for those readers who are not familiar with Black women intellectuals and activist from the 19th and 20th century, as well as to the present. 3.5

good luck

**ARC/publisher/Netgalley
Kate
Jul 25, 2020 rated it liked it
I made it through this book and learned a lot, but personally am not fond of highly academic language and using technical words when simpler ones would do. That aside, this was a fascinating travel through Black women intellectual thought from the late 1800s to the present.
Sara
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
More academic than I was expecting because I didn't read any information about it before I picked it up. I still loved the book. Cooper's writing is clear and precise and her arguments are compelling. Beyond Respectability introduced me to public intellectuals who I had previously known nothing.
Ida Carey
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Exceptional read

This book presented a different perspective on the Race Woman. There is an abundance amount of information on past and present Intellectual black women. This is a great read for scholars, students and historians.
cubierocks
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminism, lgbtqai
A dense and worthwhile read - would definitely recommend.
Liliyana Shadowlyn
As someone who is completely unfamiliar with black women in the public sphere and activism, I found this to be extremely enlightening. It's very well written and informative.
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Brittney Cooper is a writer, teacher, and public speaker. She thinks Black feminism can change the world for the better.

Brittney is Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Africana Studies at Rutgers University. She is co-founder of the popular Crunk Feminist Collective blog. And she is a contributing writer for Cosmopolitan.com and a former contributor to Salon.com. Her cultural com
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