Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander, 1898-1989

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America's First Black Economist

Eighty years ago, Sadie Alexander was writing on the devaluation of household work, a topic that has only recently been covered by graduate economics programs. That’s just one of the ways the pioneering economist was ahead of her time, says Bucknell University professor Nina Banks. Alexander recognized the importance of black and white workers joining together in solidarity and unionizing, and saw a federal full employment program as economically vital. Alexander is one of many early feminist economists whose writings and ideas Banks believes we must revisit.

Banks also discusses her other research projects, including her analysis of women’s (and especially women of color’s) unpaid work—not just in the house, but also as activists in the community.

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