Invisibility Blues

Invisibility Blues

by Michele Wallace


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In the shifting and conflicting currents of recent cultural criticism, no space is more ambiguous or difficult to define than that held by black feminism. In this new book, Michele Wallace poses the historical and conceptual questions which an emergent black feminist theory address.

The author begins with a consideration of the work of her mother, the artist Faith Ringgold, and moves on to recollections of her own early life in Harlem, and an account of her development as a writer in the 1970s. She examines the collective legacy with which black artists—from Zora Neale Hurston and Ntozake Shange, to Spike Lee and Michael Jackson—must contend in carving out a distinctive cultural practice.

Wallace’s book marks a new departure in contemporary criticism, as she combines the flair of a popular journalist with the rigor of a committed scholar. Invisibility Blues is certain to become a landmark in cultural studies and a fundamental document in the history of black feminism.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780860915195
Publisher: Verso Books
Publication date: 11/01/1990
Series: Haymarket Series
Pages: 284
Product dimensions: 0.60(w) x 6.14(h) x 9.21(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Michele Wallace earned her Ph.D. in Cinema Studies at New York University. She is a professor of English at the City College of New York and the CUNY Graduate Center. Her seminal book Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman is also available from Verso.

Mike Davis is the author of several books including Planet of Slums, City of Quartz, Ecology of Fear, Late Victorian Holocausts, and Magical Urbanism. He was recently awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. He lives in Papa’aloa, Hawaii.

Michael Sprinker was Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. His Imaginary Relations: Aesthetics and Ideology in the History of Historical Materialism and History and Ideology in Proust are also published by Verso. Together with Mike Davis, he founded Verso’s Haymarket Series and guided it until his death in 1999.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements     ix
Introduction: Negative/Positive Images     1
Black Feminism/Autobiography
Memories of a 60s Girlhood: The Harlem I Love     13
Anger in Isolation: A Black Feminist's Search for Sisterhood     18
Baby Faith     26
For the Women's House     34
A Women's Prison and The Movement     44
The Dah Principle: to be Continued     53
Homelessness is Where the Heart Is     58
Blues for Mr Spielberg     67
Michael Jackson, Black Modernisms and 'The Ecstasy of Communication'     77
Invisibility Blues     91
Spike Lee and Black Women     100
Doing the Right Thing     107
Entertainment Tomorrow     111
Mississippi Burning and Bird     123
For Colored Girls, the Rainbow is Not Enough     129
Slaves of History     137
Ishmael Reed's Female Troubles     146
Wilma Mankiller: Profile     155
Twenty Years Later     159
Who Owns Zora Neale Hurston? Critics Carve Up the Legend     172
Reading 1968: The Great American Whitewash     187
Tim Rollins and KOS: The Amerika Series     199
Variations on Negation and the Heresy of Black Feminist Creativity     213
Negative Images: Towards a Black Feminist Cultural Criticism     241
Index     257

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