The introduction examines processes by which nineteenth-century black women writers have been disassociated from legitimate forms of black struggle and defiance. Extending a definition of the liberal problematic, and situating liberal ideology critique as a viable mode of resistance, the introductory chapter specifies methodology and content. It also addresses the ways in which Harriet Wilson, Elizabeth Keckly, and Anna Julia Cooper undermine fundamental liberal and Enlightenment precepts including reason, individualism, and the foregrounding of a transcendental subject. Each of these mix-raced, working, widowed women relies on distinct tropes of embodiment in their writing to contest reigning prescriptions toward objectivity, while making visible the constraints of practices of inclusion. Charting a “becoming together” of earlier thinkers with contemporary African-American art in the vein of Sherley Anne Williams’ novel Dessa Rose, the introduction to Resistance Reimagined offers rich insight into literary perspectives of liberalism.
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