PUBLICATIONS

 

JOHNNETTA BETSCH COLE, PH.D.
"ERADICATING MULTIPLE SYSTEMS OF OPPRESSION"

The Second Generation of African American Pioneers in Anthropology (University of Illinois Press 2018)

After the pioneers, the second generation of African American anthropologists trained in the late 1950s and 1960s. Expected to study their own or similar cultures, these scholars often focused on the African diaspora but in some cases they also ranged further afield both geographically and intellectually. Yet their work remains largely unknown to colleagues and students. This volume collects intellectual biographies of fifteen accomplished African American anthropologists of the era. The authors explore the scholars' diverse backgrounds and interests and look at their groundbreaking methodologies, ethnographies, and theories. They also place their subjects within their tumultuous times, when antiracism and anticolonialism transformed the field and the emergence of ideas around racial vindication brought forth new worldviews. Scholars profiled: George Clement Bond, Johnnetta B. Cole, James Lowell Gibbs Jr., Vera Mae Green, John Langston Gwaltney, Ira E. Harrison, Delmos Jones, Diane K. Lewis, Claudia Mitchell-Kernan, Oliver Osborne, Anselme Remy, William Alfred Shack, Audrey Smedley, Niara Sudarkasa, and Charles Preston Warren II

VILLAGE

For African American women, the household as defined by systems of “finance, law, and policy” has not been a useful tool. Unrecognized, misrecognized, or labeled dysfunctional in their family formations, the construction of household has worked to marginalize and subjugate. Many within what has come to be known as the Black community—mostly descendants of American slavery who have, as a result, been bound by race-based inequities that reified and produced particular social and cultural practices and institutions—see this community, when operating at its best, as a village. Media pundits and politicians appropriate the village as “folksy,” simultaneously provincial and idyllic. Yet its efficacy remains as developed in Africa and transplanted by force through American slavery. The village has been structurally dismantled, marginalized, and devalued both socially and financially, yet it resonates...

RAISING THE RACE: BLACK CAREER WOMEN REDEFINE MARRIAGE, MOTHERHOOD, AND COMMUNITY (RUTGERS UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2016)

Winner of the 2017 Race, Gender, and Class Section Distinguished Book Award from the American Sociological Association

"Raising the Race is a fascinating and original study of the lives of professional black women that contributes significantly to theorizing about women’s negotiation of family and career. Barnes expands sociological approaches to class mobility and feminist approaches to marriage, motherhood, and work by revealing how race profoundly affects the domestic strategies of these women despite their upward social mobility."
 
--Dorothy Roberts, author of Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty

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"SHE WAS A TWIN: BLACK STRATEGIC MOTHERING, RACE‐WORK, AND THE POLITICS OF SURVIVAL"

In this article, I explore the conundrum many elite African American women experience when trying to raise and protect their children. On one hand, African American women implement a strategy I call race‐work to protect their children. African American mothers talk to their children, implement and enforce rules of decorum, and extend their mothering practices to other members of the Black community in an effort to uplift the race. On the other hand, their race‐work strategies may be resulting in unintended health consequences to their pregnant bodies that in some cases result in illness or even death of their unborn children.

POLICY DOESN'T HELP US: BLACK FEMINIST ANTHROPOLOGY IN THE SOCIAL WORK CLASSROOM

“Policy doesn't help us,” was a refrain I heard repeatedly from one of my School for Social Work graduate students in a family policy course where I teach students how to complete a family impact analysis. The objective is to help social work practitioners understand the ways in which policies overlap to create often dire circumstances for families in need and how variously situated families experience these circumstance differently. In this article, I highlight the experiences of three of my students, each an African American woman social work student between the ages 25 and 50. I use black feminist anthropology to explore primary themes that centralize the importance of understanding varied raced, classed, and gendered experiences when delivering family and children's services. I use student's critical engagement and family impact analyses to discuss the ways in which black women's roles as service providers impact policy analysis and implementation of social services. I also discuss the ways in which I use the social work classroom as a site for the translation of anthropological research findings into changes in public policy and practice. At the root of this focus is an eye toward social change and social justice that benefits all families.

BLACK WOMEN HAVE ALWAYS WORKED: IS THERE A WORK-FAMILY CONFLICT AMONG THE BLACK MIDDLE CLASS?

The Gender Culture and Power Reader:  (October 2015) Part III. Gender at Home

The Gender, Culture, and Power Reader explores different approaches to the study and conceptualization of gender, the value and limitations of gender as an analytic category, and the theoretical insights about gender produced by ethnographic research into the everyday lives, labors, loves, and livelihoods of people throughout the world. Why does gender "matter"? How are dominant ideas and practices of gender perceived, produced, experienced, and contested in different societies? How does ethnographic research provide access to these stories, perspectives, and experiences? What is the relationship between evidence and theory? The Gender, Culture, and Power Reader addresses these questions and more. Expertly edited by Dorothy L. Hodgson, this diverse reader includes both classical debates and relevant contemporary topics like gender-based violence and human rights.

BLACK WOMEN HAVE ALWAYS WORKED: IS THERE A WORK-FAMILY CONFLICT AMONG THE BLACK MIDDLE CLASS?

The Changing Landscape of Work and Family in the American Middle Class: (October 2008) Part II. The (Not So) Standard North American Family

This collection explores the dynamics of the modern, middle-class American family and its near-constant state of transition. Emerging and established scholars contributed chapters based on their original field research, following each chapter with a personal reflection on doing field work.  As a whole, the volume highlights how culture shapes family life amid shifting social and economic landscapes. The authors, working in the fields of anthropology and sociology, observed daily life at workplaces and in homes, interviewing people about their work, their children, and their ideas about what makes a good family. They report on their fieldwork in essays rich with the detail of everyday life, revealing the fascinating diversity of American middle-class families through chapters about gay co-father families, African American stay-at-home mothers, first-time fathers, rural refugees from corporate America, well-off white mothers, Taiwanese immigrant churches, the fetal ultrasound, and more.

©2018 by Riché J. Daniel Barnes