“Such is Aunt Nancy:” Gender, Scavenging, and Racial Capitalism on the Harlem Renaissance Stage”


 In what spaces and places can poor Black women’s work be economically and socially valued? Is scavenging labor? Can Black women’s care and ingenuity transform discarded items? And what does it mean to depict these issues in the context of an emerging Black Modernity of the Harlem Rennaissance? In this Work-in-Progress style presentation, Professor Erica Richardson (English, Affiliated faculty in Black and Latino Studies, Weissman Arts and Sciences, Baruch College) will respond to these questions through an excavation of The Chip Woman’s Fortune (1923) by Willis Richardson (no relation to Professor Erica Richardson).
Can Black women’s care and ingenuity transform discarded items?
Image from the 1923 production of The Chip Woman’s Fortune on Broadway found in Willis Richardson Papers, *T-Mss 1974-002. Billy Rose Theatre Collection, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.
Using concepts from Black feminist theory, Black Marxism,  Care work studies, and Discard studies, this presentation elaborates how Richardson’s play depicts alternative Black political and social economies that operate within and outside the norms of racial capitalism.  This presentation will consider how Black people, particularly Black women, through scavenging, can transform discarded items into value, an act that affirms Black women’s agency while creating new stories of Black betterment and progress within Black Modernity. This event will be moderated by Professor Angie Beeman (Marxe School of Public and International Affairs)
This free Zoom event will take place on April 28, 2022, 6:00pm.
Richardson Headshot 2021
Erica Richardson (Assistant Professor, English; Affiliated Faculty in Black and Latino Studies; Director of the Black Studies Colloquium 2021-2022, Baruch College)


To Register for this free Zoom event, please use the following link: https://baruch.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEkdO-przgtG9Ndzmv57a6BnD9N3EvAjtqa