s1182 - Black Women and Global Capitalism in the Post War Era

Thursday, June 1, 2017: 2:00 PM-3:30 PM
BRESL 112 (Hofstra University)
Tera W Hunter, Princeton University
Tiffany Melissa Gill, University of Delaware

Session Abstract

The scholars on this panel offer innovative and intersectional approaches to the history of business and labor and African American gender history by focusing on the varying ways African American women interacted with capitalism-domestically and internationally. These papers probe the racialized and gendered experience of African American women consumers, business owners, commodities and workers.

Brenna Greer (Wellesley College) examines Cold War consumerism and representations of African American women shoppers. Greer demonstrates the way these marketplace representations became important tools in the construction of a black American cultural identity.

Amira Rose Davis (Johns Hopkins University) focuses on African American women athletes as both laborers and commodities. Davis traces the US state departments use of black women to promote democracy and capitalism abroad during the Cold War, while also focusing on how African American athletes then sought to tap into global advertising and endorsements in latter decades. 

Marcia Chatelain (Georgetown University) details the experiences of African American women franchisers in the late 1970s and 1980s. Chatelain examines both their labor as franchisers as well as the corporate use of their black and female bodies to facilitate expansion. 

Tiffany Gill (University of Delaware) will offer comments while Tera Hunter (Princeton University) will chair. Together Gill and Hunter will encourage participation from the audience and facilitate dialogue with the panel. Taken together, the papers on this panel and the subsequent discussion offers the chance to consider important questions of labor and consumption while adding gendered considerations to the growing study of black capitalism.

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