Fixating on and Fixing the African American Woman's Representation of Self in Modern Periodicals

Lourdes Arciniega


"In 1919, Margaret Sanger...edited a special issue of The Birth Control Review in order to address reproductive politics in the context of the African American population. Sanger’s periodical featured two reproductive-rights texts by African American women playwrights: the drama They That Sit in Darkness by Mary P. Burrill and the short story The Closing Door by Angelina Grimké.... [These texts] re-created and reinstated the neglected African American woman and mother on stage and set up African American maternity as a controversial site from which to debate reproductive rights and women’s rights in general. More importantly, publishing these dramas in Sanger’s periodical gave these two women playwrights an opportunity to access and define a ground-breaking public and cultural space more attuned to African American women’s voices."

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