Cover for BLAIN & GILL, EDS.: To Turn the Whole World Over: Black Women and Internationalism. Click for larger image

To Turn the Whole World Over

Black Women and Internationalism

Expanding the contours of black internationalism

Black women undertook an energetic and unprecedented engagement with internationalism from the late nineteenth century to the 1970s. In many cases, their work reflected a complex effort to merge internationalism with issues of women's rights and with feminist concerns. To Turn the Whole World Over examines these and other issues with a collection of cutting-edge essays on black women's internationalism in this pivotal era and beyond. Analyzing the contours of gender within black internationalism, scholars examine the range and complexity of black women's global engagements. At the same time, they focus on these women's remarkable experiences in shaping internationalist movements and dialogues. The essays explore the travels and migrations of black women; the internationalist writings of women from Paris to Chicago to Spain; black women advocating for internationalism through art and performance; and the involvement of black women in politics, activism, and global freedom struggles.

Contributors: Nicole Anae, Keisha N. Blain, Brandon R. Byrd, Stephanie Beck Cohen, Anne Donlon, Tiffany N. Florvil, Kim Gallon, Dayo F. Gore, Annette K. Joseph-Gabriel, Grace V. Leslie, Michael O. West, and Julia Erin Wood

"These collected accounts of globetrotting black women transform and expand the concept of black internationalism. Whether traveling for political, leisure, or educational reasons, all of the women whose lives are highlighted here needed to see the world for themselves and to develop their own ideas about their places in it. Their courage and intellectual curiosity drove them to explore the world and make it theirs."--Barbara D. Savage, author of Your Spirits Walk Beside Us: The Politics of Black Religion

"To Turn the Whole World Over is a brilliant, timely, must-read book for the study of black women’s internationalism and the unfinished struggle for global black freedom."--Erik S. McDuffie, author of Sojourning for Freedom: Black Women, American Communism, and the Making of Black Left Feminism


Keisha N. Blain teaches history at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the author of Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom. Tiffany M. Gill is an associate professor of history and Africana studies at the University of Delaware. She is the author of Beauty Shop Politics: African American Women's Activism in the Beauty Industry.

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