Engaged Surrender: African American Women and Islam

Synopsis

"This sharp and timely book is a pioneering contribution. Systematically mapping African American women's lives within Islam for the first time, Rouse establishes that engagement is as meaningful an ethic as liberation for black women, and black folk generally. A provocative, deeply conscientious work that will engender overdue debate in anthropology, feminist studies, black studies, and Islamic studies."--Adam Green, Assistant Professor of History and American Studies, New York University

"Rouse's study charts a neglected and much misunderstood path for Black women's empowerment. What we learn rocks many assumptions of liberalism, Western feminism, women's activism, and prevailing notions of freedom. In a climate where the status of women within Islam is uncritically used as proof of women's oppression, "Engaged Surrender "reads like a breath of fresh air."--Patricia Hill Collins, author of "Black Feminist Thought "

""Engaged Surrender "is an insightful ethnographic analysis of two dozen women who are members of two masjids in southern California. We learn about their conversions, the ways their lives have changed, and how they negotiate a desire for agency and a traditional gender hierarchy--from childrearing, to hijab-wearing, to work, to marriage, to Qur'anic exegesis. Rouse's vivid portrayal of her subjects and fluent familiarity with feminist debates and anthropological theory make this book a compelling new study, particularly in the wake of 9/11."--Faye Ginsburg, author of "Contested Lives"

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