Maria W. Stewart: America's first Black feminist

Jennifer Anne Garcia, Florida International University


Maria W. Stewart was the first American-born and the first African-American woman known to address a mixed audience, from 1831 to 1833, and publish her essays and speeches. The purpose of this thesis is to examine Maria W. Stewart's acts of defiance--as the first public representation of Black Feminism: demanding that white America end slavery and grant rights to black men and women, re-appropriating the hegemonic, patriarchal codes which have significant social power by exposing their inconsistencies and deconstructing their ideologies, voicing the truth about the status of African-American women in early nineteenth-century America, and challenging Black women to become entrepreneurs and (as she did) acquire an education, establish schools, and take an active role in their community.

Subject Area

American literature|Womens studies|Black history|Black studies|African American Studies

Recommended Citation

Garcia, Jennifer Anne, "Maria W. Stewart: America's first Black feminist" (1998). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI1390032.