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Representation and Black Womanhood

The Legacy of Sarah Baartman

  • Editors
  • Natasha Gordon-Chipembere

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Introduction: Claiming Sarah Baartman, a Legacy to Grasp

    1. Natasha Gordon-Chipembere
      Pages 1-14
  3. The Archive: Disrupting the Colonial Narrative

  4. Troubling the “Truth”: Corporeal Representations

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 181-207

About this book

Introduction

Sarah Baartman’s iconic status as the "Hottentot Venus" - as "victimized" African woman, "Mother" of the new South Africa, and ancestral spirit to countless women of the African Diaspora - has led to countless essays, biographies, films, interviews, art installations, and research centers, comprising a virtual archive that seeks to find some meaning in her persona. Yet even those with the best intentions, fighting to give her agency, a voice, a personhood, continue to reinforce the outmoded European narrative of her life without asking "What if we looked at Baartman through another lens?" This collection, the first of its kind, offers a space in which international scholars, cultural activists, and visual artists examine the legacy of Baartman’s life anew. It disrupts iconic, pop-culture narratives to seek an alternative Africanist rendering of a person whose life has left a profound impact on the ways in which Black women are displayed and represented the world over.

Keywords

Africa Narrative poetry space women

Bibliographic information