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Book Review: Black Women and International Law: Deliberate Interactions, Movements and Actions Edited by Jeremy I. Levitt

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Black Women and International Law: Deliberate Interactions, Movements and Actions edited by Jeremy I. Levitt arrives at an appropriate time when discourses on black people, particularly black women, and the international political system have been
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  This Article is published in the Journal of Women, Politics and Policy. All Copyrights reserved to the author. Do not use or reproducewithout permission of the author. A Review of Black Women and International Law: DeliberateInteractions, Movements and Actions  Edited by Jeremy I. LevittBy Terza Lima-Neves, Ph.D.Assistat Professor of Po!iti"a! #"ie"eDe$artmet of #o"ia! ad Behaviora! #"ie"es Johso %. #mith &iversity Black Women and International Law: Deliberate Interactions,Movements and Actions  edited by Jeremy I. Levitt arrives at aa$$ro$riate time whe dis"o'rses o b!a"( $eo$!e, $arti"'!ar!y b!a"(wome, ad the iteratioa! $o!iti"a! system have bee histori"a!!ymar)ia!ized by maistream dis"o'rses. This boo( "om$rises **+$a)es with thirtee "ha$ters or)aized 'der three se"tios or themesre!evat to b!a"( wome ad h'ma ri)hts, $ea"e b'i!di), so"ia!movemets ad femiie soverei)ty. The boo( is $'b!ished $rimari!yas a res'!t of $a$ers $reseted at the Third Natioa! Peo$!e of %o!or%ofere"e. It a!so i"!'des se!e"ted "otrib'tios by other s"ho!ars. The a'thors of ea"h "ha$ter are $redomiat!y based i &.#.istit'tios of hi)her ed'"atio whi!e oe s"ho!ar is based i #ee)a!,est Afri"a. e additioa! feat're of this boo( is that it hoorsabrie!!e /ir( 0"Doa!d, a $romiet iteratioa!!y re"o)izedAfri"a-Ameri"a fema!e 1'd)e, by o2eri) a detai!ed bio)ra$hi"a!s(et"h of her a""om$!ishmets i &.#. "ivi! ri)hts ad iteratioa! !aw"ases. There is a se"tio where J'd)e 0"Doa!d o2ers a 3rst hada""o't of her ow 1o'rey i the !aw ad 1'sti"e 3e!d, sheddi) !i)htito the s'""esses ad "ha!!e)es of 4b!a"(5 wome i her $arti"'!ar$rofessio.  This edited vo!'me e6$!ores the re!atioshi$ betwee b!a"( womead iteratioa! !aw. It dis"'sses the myriad ways b!a"( wome havesha$ed ad i7'e"ed iteratioa! !aw ad $'b!i" dis"o'rses ad)!oba! )overa"es. I this boo(, 8b!a"( wome9 as a "o"e$t isde3ed withi the Pa-Afri"a "ote6t, ad refers to a!! wome of Afri"a des"et, irres$e"tive of $!a"e of birth or atioa! ori)i.  The mai ar)'met of the boo( "a!!s for a shift i the )!oba! !eses iorder to $!a"e the b!a"( woma at the "eter of "oversatios re!atedto the iteratioa! !aw $aradi)m ad $erha$s most im$ortat!y, $o!i"yde"isio-ma(i) $ro"esses. It draws from the wor( of :ery J.Ri"hardso, III o the B!a"( Iteratioa! Traditio 4BIT5 ad Pa-Afri"a$hi!oso$hy to ma(e the ar)'met that b!a"( wome have bee at the;  forefrot of dis"'ssios ad a"tivism o h'ma ri)hts, "hi!dre<s ri)hts,wome<s ri)hts, ra"ia! dis"rimiatio, re$aratios, h'maitaria !aw,iteratioa! !aw, evirometa! !aw ad demo"ra"y b't that theyhave bee systemi"a!!y mar)ia!ized. The a'thors are "riti"a! of theew ad o!d re)imes o wome, iteratioa! !aw, ra"ia! dis"rimiatioad $ea"e b'i!di) as biased ad !a"(i) 'a"ed dis"o'rse o ra"ead )eder, i"!'sive of b!a"( wome. The boo( "ha!!e)es the stat's='o ad "a!!s for the i"!'sio of b!a"( wome a"tivists both i Afri"aad i the dias$ora as we!! as the wor(s of b!a"( s"ho!ars i there"o"e$t'a!izatio of iteratioa! !aw ad iteratioa! $o!iti"a!systems, to i"!'de e6$erie"es of b!a"( wome from their ow 'i='e$ers$e"tives. :owever, the theoreti"a! dis"'ssio o B!a"(Iteratioa! Traditio ad Pa-Afri"aist $hi!oso$hy is rather brief addoes ot i"!'de a 'a"ed aa!ysis of these theories, i"!'sive of the$atriar"ha! "otradi"tio whi"h to a e6tet, a!so mar)ia!ize b!a"(wome<s ro!e ad a"tivism i iteratioa! $o!iti"s.  This "o!!e"tio of essays o2ers a $ioeeri) !oo( at the stat's of b!a"(wome by b!a"( s"ho!ars of iteratioa! !aw ad iteratioa! $o!iti"a!system, a tas( that has o!y bee $revio's!y "om$!eted from a !imited$ers$e"tive. A!tho')h iteratioa! !aw a2e"ts the dai!y !ives ad$o!iti"a! $ro"esses of the "o'tries i whi"h they !ive, the a)e"y of theb!a"( woma has bee mar)ia!ized by those a"tors who i7'e"e adsha$e iteratioa! !aw, that is to say, the b!a"( woma re)ard!ess of )eo)ra$hi"a! !o"atio has ot bee at the tab!e of de"isio ma(i)$ro"esses i the iteratioa! $o!iti"a! system. Dis"'ssios o )ederiss'es very ofte e)!e"t her voi"e as a a"tive a)et of "ha)e th'srederi) her $o!iti"a!!y, e"oomi"a!!y ad so"ia!!y ivisib!e. This boo(o2ers a "ommedab!e e2ort ad time!y dis"'ssio o b!a"( womead iteratioa! !aw. %aro! Boy"e-Davies o2ers a isi)htf'! dis"'ssio o b!a"( wome!eaders i "ha$ter *, tit!ed, 8riti) B!a"( ome ito Po!iti"a!Leadershi$> Re7e"tios, Treds, ad %otradi"tios9. Boy"e-Daviesar)'es for rede3i) the e6isti) $aradi)m o wome i !eadershi$$ositios. #he $oits to the 3rst Afri"a Ameri"a ?irst Lady of the&ited #tates, 0rs. 0i"he!!e bama as a e6am$!e of this$heomeo. Prior to 0i"he!!e bama, the $ositio of the ?irst Lady of the &ited #tates had bee re!e)ated to a $assive, s'$$ortive s$o'seres$osib!e for de"orati) the white ho'se, re"eivi) state )'ests adbei) a fashio i"o ad se!dom a 4$hysi"a!!y ad meta!!y5 stro)woma with her ow $o!iti"a! o$iios ad a)eda. As a b!a"( woma,0i"he!!e bama, however, has de3ed the e6isti) so"io-e"oomi" ad$o!iti"a! arrative, ad asserted herse!f as a hi)h!y ed'"ated !eaderad advo"ate for ed'"atioa! a"hievemet for 'der$rivi!e)ed "hi!dread yo'th, $arti"'!ar!y b!a"( "hi!dre. At the iteratioa! !eve!, Boy"e-@  Davies hi)h!i)hts the 'i='e b't $ioeeri) "ases of Liberia, 0a!awi,:aiti, Triidad ad Toba)o ad Brazi!, a!! of whi"h have demo"rati"a!!yvoted fema!e heads of states ito o"e. Boy"e-Davies "a!!s for thei"!'sio or visibi!ity of b!a"( wome ito what she refers to as, the8B!a"( Ite!!e"t'a! Traditio9 where b!a"( wome sho'!d be seebeyod the vis'a! ad ito 'derstadi) her a)e"y i diverse wayss'"h as $ertaii) to $o!iti"a!, so"ia!, ideo!o)i"a!, )eo)ra$hi"a!diversity. %ha$ter ; o2ers a tho')htf'! dis"'ssio o b!a"( wome both iAfri"a as we!! as i the dias$ora ad their a"tivism i "!imate "ha)ead iteratioa! evirometa! !aw. A'thor Eri(a eor)e $!a"esAfri"a wome at the "eter of the debate o "!imate "ha)e ad$o!i"y ma(i) a)edas. #he ar)'es that a!tho')h $owerf'! deve!o$edatios have i)ored wome i )eera!, $arti"'!ar!y Afri"a womead $o!i"y-ma(i) de"isios, these wome have fo'd strate)i" waysto resist dis"rimiatio whe fa"i) $overty ad evirometa!de)radatio. #he ar)'es that wome !i(e /eya evirometa!ist adNobe! Pea"e Prize wier a)ari 0aathai have wor(ed to $rote"t theeviromet eve whe "ofroted with dis"rimiatory !aws ad$ra"ti"es. eor)e "a!!s for a redrafti) or re"o"e$t'a!izatio of iteratioa! h'ma ri)hts ad evirometa! ri)hts !aws ad $o!i"iesto be more i"!'sive of b!a"( wome, )ive the i"reasediterre!atioshi$ betwee s'staiabi!ity, h'ma ri)hts, ad )edere='a!ity.  This boo( ma(es a si)i3"at "otrib'tio to the s"ho!arshi$ oiteratioa! !aw ad $o!iti"s, )!oba! st'dies, Afri"a dias$ora $o!iti"sad deve!o$met, )eder st'dies ad wome<s st'dies. As a editedvo!'me, ea"h "ha$ter is strate)i"a!!y writte to be 'sed se$arate!y ad"a be easi!y ite)rated as re='ired or s'))ested "o'rse readi)s for'der)rad'ate ad )rad'ate st'dets. ive that it is oe of the 3rsts"ho!ar!y wor(s at hi)h!i)hti) b!a"( wome<s theoreti"a! ad $ra"ti"a!"otrib'tios to the 3e!d of iteratioa! !aw ad the iteratioa!$o!iti"a! system it "o'!d ot have $ossib!y "overed every iss'e fa"ed byb!a"( wome i the iteratioa! $o!iti"a! system. :owever, it sho'!d$rom$t additioa! resear"h o "o'try s$e"i3" "ase st'dies fromAfri"a, the %aribbea, the Ameri"as ad beyod. *
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