In this new era where Black and women of color are finding their voices and continuing the work of Black women writers such as Audre Lorde, Alice Walker and others, it is important to recognize the need for a continued conversation surrounding Black feminist theory and the Black woman experience. Tragic instances like the story of Breonna Taylor echo through the chambers of the world and underscore the need for understanding and the protection of Black women’s bodies, minds, and personal agency.
There are two books that are equipped if not essential to bring interested nonfiction readers closer to understanding, theorizing and supporting Black women: “Digital Black Feminism” (NYU Press) written by Catherine Knight Steele, whose “research focuses on race, gender and media with a specific focus on African American culture and discourse in traditional and new media,” and “Transnational Feminist Itineraries: Situating Theory and Activist Practice” (Duke University Press), a collection of writing by various feminist experts and thinkers, edited by Ashwini Tambe and Millie Thayer.
These books are essential post-modern perspectives on activism and on the need for Black women’s and women of color’s presence and navigation of the world around them, and how to be an active supporter of their intelligence and important academic work.
In “Digital Black Feminism,” “Catherine Knight Steele argues that Black women’s relationship to technology began long before the advent of Twitter or Instagram. To truly ‘listen to Black women,’ Steele points to the history of Black feminist technoculture in the United States and its ability to decenter white supremacy and patriarchy in a conversation about the future of technology.” Feminist thinker Sonia E. Alvarez writes about “Transnational Feminist Itineraries” expressing, “This innovative collection charts clear paths toward a renewed and reinvigorated transnational feminist theory and practice, offering fresh empirical materials and indispensable theoretical tools for navigating today’s turbulent global political waters. Adjudicating the manifest tensions among postcolonial, decolonial, intersectional, and transnational approaches in provocative yet generative ways, the volume amply demonstrates why and how transnational feminism as an analytic and as an intellectual-political project must be brought back front and center in feminist studies suitable for the mid-21st century and beyond.”
These books are great additions for any nonfiction reader who is interested in the womanist perspective and feminist theory. They open eyes and open doors for other Black women and women of color to explore their presence in society and in the digital age.
“Digital Black Feminism” is due out in October 2021 and is available for pre-sale. “Transnational Feminist Itineraries” was released in July 2021 and is available online and where books are sold.