Utz McKnight is Chair of the Department of Gender and Race Studies, and Professor of Political Science, at the University of Alabama.
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. Utz McKnight has achieved just this: seamlessly moving from the past to the present and covering fiction, speeches, and poetry with the keen eye of a sophisticated political theorist and literary critic, Frances E. W. Harper is one of the best books I've read in a long time. Alex Zamalin, University of Detroit-Mercy Utz McKnight brings to light, with deep insight, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper as a visionary. Her major works, including the novel Iola Leroy, are artful read by McKnight's for their politics, and reveal Harper to have been a lifelong antislavery feminist. Read this book to discover the incomparable life and penetrating thought of one of the 19th 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, author of Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All