Duchess Harris releases new book, ‘Black Feminist Politics from Kennedy to Trump’

Rep. Maxine Waters

Less than a month before the Midterm elections, Professor Duchess Harris has released a new book, “Black Feminist Politics from Kennedy to Trump,” that examines the role of Black feminism in the era of President Donald Trump.

The Macalester College faculty member analyzes the activism of the Black women leaders of Black Lives Matter and contemporary Black feminist political stars such as Rep. Maxine Waters and Sen. Kamala Harris. Harris argues that the influence of Black feminist political strategy and principles in mainstream U.S. politics, especially in the 2016 U.S. election, will have a transformative impact on the future of electoral politics.

“While many Americans considered (former president Barack) Obama’s election as evidence that we were finally entering a post-racist era, the resurgence of open racism points to the fact that these ideas are deeply embedded in American political life, and have been since it’s founding,” said Harris. “At the same time, we’re seeing Black feminist thought leaders and activists leading the response and organizing at scales never seen before.”

The text also deepens earlier editions’ consideration of sexuality and gender identity in Black feminist politics and explores the role of digital organizing and social media in setting the terms of contemporary political struggles.

With “Black Feminist Politics from Kennedy to Trump” Harris says breaks down the complexity of contemporary politics for an everyday reader trying to understand how Black women have been defining leadership and politics since the mid-century.

“My hope is that the book provides important insight into the evolution of the Black feminist movement and its impact on political life today,” said Harris. “Seeds planted by Black feminists in the Kennedy era are coming to fruition today in exciting, new ways.”

“This new edition will be promptly welcomed, read and used in university courses and seminars, as well as in party, social movement and organizational planning efforts,” said Dianne Pinderhuges, presidential faculty fellow and professor in Africana studies and political science, the University of Notre Dame, “Harris has enriched her already important exploration of the history, politics and political beliefs of African American women from the 19th century through the present. Anyone who wants to understand our current American political landscape must understand Black feminist thought. This updated classic is the best place to begin.”

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