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In her new book, Emancipation's Daughters: Reimagining Black Femininity and the National Body (Duke University Press, 2021), Riché Richardson draws on literary texts and cultural representations to show how the work of five iconic black women, Mary McLeod Bethune, Rosa Parks, Condoleezza Rice, Michelle Obama, and Beyoncé, successfully challenged white-centered definitions of American identity and broke down barriers to Black women’s civic participation. In a live, virtual Chats in the Stacks book talk, Richardson, professor of African American literature in the Africana Studies and Research Center, discusses how—through a focus on motherhood, families, and children—each of these emblematic women defied dominant stereotypes and helped reconstruct ideas of Black womanhood. However, Richardson also argues that these ideas were often premised on heteronormativity that excluded black queer and trans women, and she explores new possibilities for inclusive models of blackness, national femininity, and democracy.