Danielle Phillips-Cunningham is an associate professor of Women's and Gender Studies. She teaches courses on feminist theory, womanist thought, and women's labors and migrations.


*Recipient of the National Women's Studies Association's Sara A. Whaley Book Prize for the topic of women and labor


The Rutgers University Press, January 2020  


Putting Their Hands on Race offers an important labor history of 19th and early 20th century Irish immigrant and US southern Black migrant domestic workers. Drawing on a range of archival sources, this intersectional study explores how these women were significant to the racial labor and citizenship politics of their time.


Their migrations to northeastern cities challenged racial hierarchies and formations. Southern Black migrant women resisted the gendered racism of domestic service, and Irish immigrant women strove to expand whiteness to position themselves as deserving of labor rights. 


On the racially fractious terrain of labor, Black women and Irish immigrant women, including Victoria Earle Matthews, the “Irish Rambler”, Leonora Barry, and Anna Julia Cooper, gathered data, wrote letters and speeches, marched, protested, engaged in private acts of resistance in the workplace, and created women’s institutions and organizations to assert domestic workers’ right to living wages and protection.

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