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Black Women in White America: A Documentary History

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In this documentary history, black women themselves tell not only what it's like to be oppressed —as blacks and as women—but also how they have managed to survive. Here are stories of women who built a school "on a garbage dump"; of the little-known but vitally important networks of women's organizations dedicated to self-help and the struggle for human dignity; of the vic In this documentary history, black women themselves tell not only what it's like to be oppressed —as blacks and as women—but also how they have managed to survive. Here are stories of women who built a school "on a garbage dump"; of the little-known but vitally important networks of women's organizations dedicated to self-help and the struggle for human dignity; of the victims of the Ku Klux Klan, beatings and lynchings. The documents, many of them previously unpublished and long hidden in archives across the country, fill in important chapters in the history of America. "Dr. Lerner gives us material which can change images that whites have had of blacks, and possibly even those which we, as blacks, have of ourselves." -Maya Angelou, 'Life'


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In this documentary history, black women themselves tell not only what it's like to be oppressed —as blacks and as women—but also how they have managed to survive. Here are stories of women who built a school "on a garbage dump"; of the little-known but vitally important networks of women's organizations dedicated to self-help and the struggle for human dignity; of the vic In this documentary history, black women themselves tell not only what it's like to be oppressed —as blacks and as women—but also how they have managed to survive. Here are stories of women who built a school "on a garbage dump"; of the little-known but vitally important networks of women's organizations dedicated to self-help and the struggle for human dignity; of the victims of the Ku Klux Klan, beatings and lynchings. The documents, many of them previously unpublished and long hidden in archives across the country, fill in important chapters in the history of America. "Dr. Lerner gives us material which can change images that whites have had of blacks, and possibly even those which we, as blacks, have of ourselves." -Maya Angelou, 'Life'

30 review for Black Women in White America: A Documentary History

  1. 5 out of 5

    Macy

    This book had so many insightful stories and speeches from powerful activist women. It was encouraging to read about the steps toward change that they were taking back then, and to see how some of those steps have manifest today. It was also somewhat disheartening to be reminded that despite all of that change, there are still many of the same oppressive factors at-play today. Some of the personal anecdotes that were included were truly profound and emotional reads; partly because it is saddenin This book had so many insightful stories and speeches from powerful activist women. It was encouraging to read about the steps toward change that they were taking back then, and to see how some of those steps have manifest today. It was also somewhat disheartening to be reminded that despite all of that change, there are still many of the same oppressive factors at-play today. Some of the personal anecdotes that were included were truly profound and emotional reads; partly because it is saddening and infuriating to know that people lived through such difficult times, but also because so much of it currently exists, albeit in more covert ways than in the past. I'd love to read another book like this from the past 10 years to know how other Black women's lived experiences have changed (or not changed) since this publication.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Talea

    Quite possibly one of the most important books I’ve read concerning women’s studies. For over a hundred years the black woman has had to deal with the double whammy of being both a woman and black. The passages on rape and lynching made me sick to my stomach as it would any one with any heart at all. It took a long time for me to get through this book, not because it was dull, but because it had me thinking, it hurt my heart, it forced me to look outside of myself and my experience. I really thi Quite possibly one of the most important books I’ve read concerning women’s studies. For over a hundred years the black woman has had to deal with the double whammy of being both a woman and black. The passages on rape and lynching made me sick to my stomach as it would any one with any heart at all. It took a long time for me to get through this book, not because it was dull, but because it had me thinking, it hurt my heart, it forced me to look outside of myself and my experience. I really think this book should be read by everyone. Maybe then we could see each other instead of color.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Karla Strand

    This book changed my life as a young person. Essential reading.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Randie D. Camp, M.S.

    The insights that Lerner offers into the day-to-day resistance and struggles of oppressed black women throughout history (particularly, during slavery), give tribute to their strength and resilience.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    What a totally readable collection of ordinary women’s lives. Put together in 1970, it includes interviews with amazing women who worked on the ground for economic, social and political equality. It’s divided into themes that are roughly chronological and I’m sure when it came out there were few things like that. But it stands the test of time for readability even if it does lack thorough context for these primary sources.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Yoly [♥]

    It's frightening to think that those times actually existed. But we aren't too far off yet today, are we? The black women from the white America back then had strength and will. Their fear was understandable; and their determination to make it through each day was honorable!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Meniek

    An interesting book. This book contains the papers published from manuscripts stored in various libraries in America. Its content is the experience of black women since the time of the pre-exemption until 1970 when a black woman was speak about Womanhood, like white women.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mary Robinette Kowal

    Very painful personal histories.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jaclynn

    A rich collection of personal stories compiled and presented by women's historian Gerta Lerner. This is a very accessible and readable collection of the lives of ordinary women and activists. Th amount of work Lerner spent in researching and putting these together is impressive, and not at all academic or dull, but there's a lot of information here! Put together in 1970, it includes interviews with amazing women who worked on the ground for economic, social and political empowerment. It’s divide A rich collection of personal stories compiled and presented by women's historian Gerta Lerner. This is a very accessible and readable collection of the lives of ordinary women and activists. Th amount of work Lerner spent in researching and putting these together is impressive, and not at all academic or dull, but there's a lot of information here! Put together in 1970, it includes interviews with amazing women who worked on the ground for economic, social and political empowerment. It’s divided into themes that are roughly chronological and though 50 years old, it stands the test of time for readability and importance of content.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lina

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie Morse

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rob McB

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tereacy Pearson

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

  16. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

  17. 4 out of 5

    Annelisa

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dinah

  19. 4 out of 5

    ReGina

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kukusan

  21. 4 out of 5

    Chris

  22. 4 out of 5

    Allyse Gray

  23. 5 out of 5

    Michael Strode

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alis Reese

  25. 4 out of 5

    Yolanda Young

  26. 5 out of 5

    Monica

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nemat Khan

  28. 5 out of 5

    reading woman

  29. 5 out of 5

    Chris MacDonald-Dennis

  30. 5 out of 5

    Christiana salako

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