How it feels to be free : black women entertainers and the civil rights movement / Ruth Feldstein.
- Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2013.
1 online resource.
- African American women political activists -- History -- 20th century.
African American women entertainers -- Political activity -- History -- 20th century.
Performing arts -- Political aspects -- United States -- 20th century.
African Americans -- Music -- Political aspects -- History -- 20th century.
African Americans -- Civil rights -- History -- 20th century.
United States -- Race relations -- History -- 20th century.
- Electronic books.
- How It Feels to Be Free tells a story about black women entertainers and their relationships to the civil rights/black power movement. The book focuses on six performers: singer and film star Lena Horne; South African singer Miriam Makeba; pianist‐vocalist Nina Simone; jazz singer and actress Abbey Lincoln; and stage, film, and television actresses Diahann Carroll and Cicely Tyson. All six were more than “just” entertainers, all six took risks when they used their celebrity status to support civil rights, and all six insisted, in all sorts of ways, that the liberation they desired could not separate race from sex. By bringing them center stage, the book demonstrates the multiple ways that culture mattered to black activism in the 1960s; there was far more to culture and civil rights than “We Shall Overcome.” How It Feels to Be Free also explores the transnational circulation of black politics and culture; women celebrities who were popular around the globe helped to “export” ideas about black activism in the United States, but their experiences abroad also shaped their participation in U.S. activism. Finally, this book argues that gender was critical to the simultaneous development of black activism and feminism. These women did not call themselves feminists; but with their performances in music, film, and television, and their work in front of and away from cameras, they offered critiques and made demands that became central tenets of feminism generally and of black feminism specifically.
- Introduction: performing civil rights
"The world was on fire": making New York City subcultures
"Africa's musical ambassador": Miriam Makeba and the "voice of Africa" in the United States
"More than just a jazz performer": Nina Simone's border crossings
"No one asks me what I want": black women, Hollywood, and "integration narratives" in the late 1960s
"So beautiful in those rags": Cicely Tyson and African American history in the 1970s
- Includes bibliographical references and index.
Description based on print version record.
- Oxford Scholarship Online.
- Other format:
- Print version: Feldstein, Ruth, 1965- How it feels to be free
- Access Restriction:
- Restricted for use by site license.
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