University of Wisconsin Press colophon



University of Wisconsin Madison crest that links to main university site

Association of University Presses member logo that links to main AUPresses site



Catalog Archive / Fall 2022

Practical Audacity
Black Women and International Human Rights

Critical Human Rights
Scott Straus and Tyrell Haberkorn, Series Editors; Steve J. Stern, Editor Emeritus

“An important, landmark work. James brings Black women’s international engagement, scholarship, and activism to the center from the margins to shine a bright light on their impact. She inspires and empowers each of us to take up the mantle and continue their legacy to create a more equitable and just global society.”
—Menah Pratt-Clarke, Virginia Tech University

Goler Teal Butcher (1925–93), a towering figure in international human rights law, was a scholar and advocate who advanced an intersectional approach to human empowerment influenced by Black women’s intellectual traditions. Practical Audacity follows the stories of fourteen women whose work honors and furthers Butcher’s legacy. Their multilayered and sophisticated contributions have critically reshaped human rights scholarship and activism—including their major role in developing critical race feminism, community-based applications, and expanding the boundaries of human rights discourse.

Stanlie M. James weaves narratives by and about these women throughout the history of the field, illustrating how they conceptualize, develop, and implement human rights. By centering the courage and innovative interventions of capable and visionary Black women, she places them rightfully alongside such figures as Thurgood Marshall and Charles Hamilton Houston. This volume fundamentally shifts the frame through which human rights struggles are understood, illuminating how those who witness and experience oppression have made some of the biggest contributions to building a better world.


Stanlie M. James is a professor emerita in the Department of Afro-American Studies and the Women’s Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She was Vice Provost for Inclusion and Community Engagement and a professor in the African and African American Studies and Women and Gender Studies Programs at Arizona State University. Among her many coedited volumes are Still Brave: The Evolution of Black Women’s Studies and Theorizing Black Feminisms: The Visionary Pragmatism of Black Women.



Download Cover: color | b/w

Request Review Copy

Request Exam Copy



Practical Audacity: A photograph of a black statue of a person with braids and no eyes or body. The statue is in front of modern buildings. Statue by Simon Leigh. Photo by Huge L. Gonzalez. Design by Distillery Marketing & Design.

Larger images

New in Paperback!
September 2022
LC: 2020051975
216 pp. 6 x 9
1 b/w photo

Book icon
Paper $26.95 S
ISBN 9780299333744
Shopping cart ADD TO CART
Review Cart
Book icon
Casebound $79.95 S
ISBN 9780299333706
Shopping cart ADD TO CART
Review Cart