I am the woman with the black black skin: mapping intersectionality in Harlem Renaissance women's poetry

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Mapping Intersectionality in Harlem Renaissance Women's Poetry comprises the first book-length study devoted to examining the role women's poetry played in the Harlem Renaissance, an artistic and sociopolitical movement that reached its zenith in the 1920s. This study is situated

Mapping Intersectionality in Harlem Renaissance Women's Poetry comprises the first book-length study devoted to examining the role women's poetry played in the Harlem Renaissance, an artistic and sociopolitical movement that reached its zenith in the 1920s. This study is situated in a theoretical interdisciplinarity that complicates critical approaches to Black women's subjectivities with respect to resistance and representation. It combines literary, race and gender theory to perform close readings of New Negro Women's poetry. Central chapters of the text theorize the poets' overshadowed engagement with the political movement via the tropes of interiority, motherhood, and sexuality; a closing chapter puts New Negro women's poetry in conversation with the Black Arts Movement. Building on the feminist sociological framework of Intersectionality, which considers the lived experience of individuals who embody multiple layers of marginalization, this dissertation works to identify and unpack sources of racialized gendered disparity in Harlem Renaissance studies. In acknowledging that self–actualization and self–articulation are central to this identity–based movement — a presupposition that informs this study's thesis — it becomes necessary to consider the gendered aspects of the writing for a more comprehensive review of the period. The analytical framework of Intersectionality provides a means to acknowledge New Negro women poets' perspectives regarding their racialized and gendered selves. In essence, Mapping Intersectionality is a concentrated effort toward unearthing evidence of their significant push against race and gender oppression. The motivation driving this study is revision and reclamation: revisionist in its concern for redefining the parameters in which the movement is traditionally perceived; a reclamation in its objective to underscore the influential, but nearly forgotten voices of the women poets of the Harlem Renaissance.