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Black Girls

Migrant Domestic Workers and Colonial Legacies

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Sabrina Marchetti

In today’s Europe, migrant domestic workers are indispensable in supporting many households which, without their employment, would lack sufficient domestic and care labour. Black Girls collects and explores the stories of some of the first among these workers. They are the Afro-Surinamese and the Eritrean women who in the 1960s and 70s migrated to the former colonising country, the Netherlands and Italy respectively, and there became domestic and care workers. Sabrina Marchetti analyses the narratives of some of these women in order to powerfully demonstrate how the legacies of the colonial past have been, at the same time, both their tool of resistance and the reason for their subordination.

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Jacob Zumoff

Since the Cold War, most historians have set up an opposition between the “American” and “international” aspects of early American Communism. This book examines the development of the Communist Party in its first decade, from 1919 to 1929. Using the archives of the Communist International, this book, in contrast to previous studies, argues that the International played an important role in the early part of this decade in forcing the party to “Americanise”. Special attention is given to the attempts by the Comintern to orient American Communists on the role of black oppression, and to see the struggle for black liberation and the fight for socialism as inextricably linked. The later sections of the book provide the most detailed account now available of how the Comintern, reflecting the Stalinisation of the Soviet Union, intervened in the American party to ensure the Stalinisation of American Communism.

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Edited by Ulbe Bosma, Gijs Kessler and Leo Lucassen

In Migration and Membership Regimes editors Ulbe Bosma, Gijs Kessler and Leo Lucassen bring together ten essays in an analytical framework which looks beyond the Transatlantic migration of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in a deliberate attempt to incorporate the experience of earlier periods and other continents into historical migration studies.

The focus of analysis is on the mechanisms of interaction between polities, from city-states and emerging statehoods to empires, and migrants joining or taking over these polities, by force, choice or co-optation. It reconceptualises the migrant-state relationship as an engagement over the terms of membership and explores the variety of different outcomes this has had across time and space.

Contributors include: Nicholas Breyfogle, Derek Heng, Ralph W. Mathisen, Christel Müller, Mu-chou Poo, Susan Elizabeth Ramírez, Ibrahima Thiaw, Maartje van Gelder, Mark D. Varien.

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Cathy Bergin

The legacy of the relationship between African American writers and Communism in the US is a contested one. Bergin argues that in three novels, by seminal mid-century authors (Wright, Himes and Ellison) Communism is not dismissed as incapable of meeting the demands of black political identity but is castigated for its refusal to do so. A detailed focus on the political milieu in which these texts operate challenges many of the presumptions about the ‘inability’ of Communism to comprehend racial oppression, which dominate literary critical approaches to these novels. She draws on the complex formations black political agency presumed and reproduced by American Communism during the Depression.