Courting Communities focuses on the writing and oratory of nineteenth-century African-American women whose racial uplift projects troubled the boundaries of race, nation and gender. In particular, it reexamines the politics of gender in nationalist movements and black women's creative response within and against both state and insurgent black nationalist discourses. Courting Communities highlights the ideas and rhetorical strategies of female activists considered to be less important than the prominent male nationalists. Yet their story is significant precisely because it does not fit into the pre-established categories of nationalism and leadership bequeathed to us from the past.
1. Introduction 2. Controversial Collectives: Sojourner Truth's Search for Home 3. Charting a Course for the Middle Class: Maria Stewart's Advice to the Middle Sector 4. Bi-National Connections: Mary Ann Shadd Cary and the Afro-Canadian Community 5. Tending to the Roots: Anna Julia Cooper on Social Labor and Harvest Reaping 6. Inheriting Community, or Educating Iola 7. Conclusion 8. Bibliography