History of Women and Gender Seminar Performing Civil Rights: Black Women Entertainers, the "Long" Civil Rights Movement, and Second Wave Feminism 9 February 2012.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM This program will be held at the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe. Ruth Feldstein, Rutgers University at Newark Comment: Daphne Brooks, Princeton University.

During the period that scholars have identified as the "long civil rights movement," black women entertainers were among the performers who used their status as celebrities to support black activism, and who made political struggles meaningful to Americans and non-Americans who never participated in marches or other protests. In public performances and political protests-and crucially, in the myriad instances when the lines between those blurred-women entertainers such as Lena Horne, Abbey Lincoln, Diahann Carroll and Miriam Makeba (to name a few) drew attention to unequal relationships between blacks and whites and to relationships between men and women. This paper analyzes how black women performed civil rights in ways that made gender central to a broader vision of black liberation. It suggests that black women entertainers were central to the simultaneous development of black activism in the "long civil rights movement" as well as second wave feminism.