Frances E. W. HarperA Call to Conscience
Frances E. W. Harper
A Call to Conscience

Free Black woman, poet, novelist, essayist, speaker, and activist, Frances Watkins Harper was one of the nineteenth century’s most important advocates of Abolitionism and female suffrage, and her pioneering work still has profound lessons for us today.

In this new book, Utz McKnight shows how Harper’s life and work inspired her contemporaries to imagine a better America. He seeks to recover her importance by examining not only her vision of the possibilities of Emancipation, but also her subsequent role in challenging Jim Crow. He argues that engaging with her ideas and writings is vital in understanding not only our historical inheritance, but also contemporary issues ranging from racial violence to the role of Christianity.

This lucid book is essential reading not only for students of African American history, but also for all progressives interested in issues of race, politics, and society.
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  • November 2020
  • 280 pages
  • 143 x 211 mm / 6 x 8 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $69.95
  • 9781509535538
  • Paperback $24.95
  • 9781509535545
  • Open eBook $20.00
  • 9781509535552
About the Author
Utz McKnight is Chair of the Department of Gender and Race Studies, and Professor of Political Science, at the University of Alabama.
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"It's rare to read a book that both recovers a brilliant political thinker who has long been neglected, and is filled with luminous insights about contemporary racial politics, but Utz McKnight has achieved just this. This is one of the best books I've read in a long time."
Alex Zamalin, University of Detroit-Mercy

"Utz McKnight brings to light Frances Ellen Watkins Harper as a visionary. Read this book to discover the incomparable life and penetrating thought of one of the nineteenth century’s most important public intellectuals. Absorb its lessons because, as McKnight so elegantly shows, Harper’s aspirations for our democracy remain necessary and timeless."
Martha S. Jones, Johns Hopkins University
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