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Beyond the Pale: White Women, Racism, and History

Pioneering study of how ideas about white women have shaped the history of racism

How have ideas about white women figured in the history of racism? Vron Ware argues that they have been central, and that feminism has, in many ways, developed as a political movement within racist societies. Dissecting the different meanings of femininity and womanhood, Beyond the Pale examines the political connections between black and white women, both within contemporary racism and feminism, as well as in historical examples like the anti-slavery movement and the British campaign against lynching in the United States. Beyond the Pale is a major contribution to anti-racist work, confronting the historical meanings of whiteness as a way of overcoming the moralism that so often infuses anti-racist movements.


  • “Vron Ware’s Beyond the Pale is not a breath of fresh air, it’s a blast.”
  • “One of Ware’s … most striking case-studies.”


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