Annette K. Joseph-Gabriel’s Reimagining Liberation: How Black Women Transformed Citizenship in the French Empire (2020) models the critical possibilities of attending to the overlooked records of Black women’s political imaginations. This discussion essay explores what happens if we extend Joseph-Gabriel’s recuperative method past the 1960s and into the early independence era. No one would call the Senegalese novelist Mariama Bâ overlooked, and yet Bâ herself has often been absent from her own reception history. One understudied archive for Bâ is a biography of the novelist written by her daughter Mame Coumba Ndiaye. Harmonizing with Joseph-Gabriel’s notion of decolonial citizenship, this essay asks how the stakes of Bâ’s work shift if we read her alongside Ndiaye’s overlooked text. While Black women of Bâ’s generation may have been more likely to be widely recognized than those explored in Reimagining Liberation, their political imaginations have sometimes been misconstrued as nationalist in ways that obscure their articulation through the transnational feminist networks that sustained them.

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