books about African American women and 8
start with L
The Labor of Faith: Gender and Power in Black Apostolic Pentecostalism
Duke University Press, 2017
Library of Congress BR1644.3.C37 2017
In The Labor of Faith Judith Casselberry examines the material and spiritual labor of the women of the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, Inc., which is based in Harlem and one of the oldest and largest historically Black Pentecostal denominations in the United States. This male-headed church only functions through the work of the church's women, who, despite making up three-quarters of its adult membership, hold no formal positions of power. Casselberry shows how the women negotiate this contradiction by using their work to produce and claim a spiritual authority that provides them with a particular form of power. She also emphasizes how their work in the church is as significant, labor intensive, and critical to their personhood, family, and community as their careers, home and family work, and community service are. Focusing on the circumstances of producing a holy black female personhood, Casselberry reveals the ways twenty-first-century women's spiritual power operates and resonates with meaning in Pentecostal, female-majority, male-led churches.
Latinas and African American Women at Work: Race, Gender, and Economic Inequality
Russell Sage Foundation, 1999
Library of Congress HD6057.5.U5L37 1999 | Dewey Decimal 331.408996073
One of Choice magazine's Outstanding Academic Books of 1999 Accepted wisdom about the opportunities available to African American and Latina women in the U.S. labor market has changed dramatically. Although the 1970s saw these women earning almost as much as their white counterparts, in the 1980s their relative wages began falling behind, and the job prospects plummeted for those with little education and low skills. At the same time, African American women more often found themselves the sole support of their families. While much social science research has centered on the problems facing black male workers, Latinas and African American Women at Work offers a comprehensive investigation into the eroding progress of these women in the U.S. labor market. The prominent sociologists and economists featured in this volume describe how race and gender intersect to especially disadvantage black and Latina women. Their inquiries encompass three decades of change for women at all levels of the workforce, from those who spend time on the welfare rolls to middle class professionals. Among the many possible sources of increased disadvantage, they particularly examine the changing demands for skills, increasing numbers of immigrants in the job market, the precariousness of balancing work and childcare responsibilities, and employer discrimination. While racial inequity in hiring often results from educational differences between white and minority women, this cannot explain the discrimination faced by women with higher skills. Minority women therefore face a two-tiered hurdle based on race and gender. Although the picture for young African American women has grown bleaker overall, for Latina women, the story is more complex, with a range of economic outcomes among Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, and Central and South Americans. Latinas and African American Women at Work reveals differences in how professional African American and white women view their position in the workforce, with black women perceiving more discrimination, for both race and gender, than whites. The volume concludes with essays that synthesize the evidence about racial and gender-based obstacles in the labor market. Given the current heated controversy over female and minority employment, as well as the recent sweeping changes to the national welfare system, the need for empirical data to inform the public debate about disadvantaged women is greater than ever before. The important findings in Latinas and African American Women at Work substantially advance our understanding of social inequality and the pervasive role of race, ethnicity and gender in the economic well-being of American women.
Lavender Fields: Black Women Experiencing Fear, Agency, and Hope in the Time of COVID-19
Edited by Julia S. Jordan-Zachery
University of Arizona Press, 2023
Library of Congress E185.86 | Dewey Decimal 305.488960730905
Lavender Fields uses autoethnography to explore how Black girls and women are living with and through COVID-19. It centers their pain, joys, and imaginations for a more just future as we confront all the inequalities that COVID-19 exposes.
Black women and girls in the United States are among the hardest hit by the pandemic in terms of illnesses, deaths, evictions, and increasing economic inequality. Riffing off Alice Walker’s telling of her search for Zora Neal Hurston, the authors of these essays and reflections offer raw tellings of Black girls’ and women’s experiences written in real time, as some of the contributors battled COVID-19 themselves.
The essays center Black girls and women and their testimonies in hopes of moving them from the margin to the center. With a diversity of voices and ages, this volume taps into the Black feminine interior, that place where Audre Lorde tells us that feelings lie, to access knowledge—generational, past, and contemporary—to explore how Black women navigate COVID-19. Using womanism and spirituality, among other modalities, the authors explore deep feelings, advancing Black feminist theorizing on Black feminist praxis and methodology.
In centering the stories of Black girls and women’s experiences with COVID-19, this work brings much-needed justice and equity to conversations about the pandemic. Just as Walker worked diligently to find Hurston, Lavender Fields attempts to “find” Black women amid all we are experiencing, ensuring visibility and attention.
Kyrah K. Brown
Brianna Y. Clark
LeConté J. Dill
Maryam O. Funmilayo
Julia S. Jordan-Zachery
Angela K. Lewis-Maddox
J. Mercy Okaalet
Chizoba Uzoamaka Okoroma
Leaders of Their Race: Educating Black and White Women in the New South
University of Illinois Press, 2017
Library of Congress LA230.5.S6C37 2017 | Dewey Decimal 370.820975
Secondary level female education played a foundational role in reshaping women's identity in the New South. Sarah H. Case examines the transformative processes involved at two Georgia schools--one in Atlanta for African-American girls and young women, the other in Athens and attended by young white women with elite backgrounds. Focusing on the period between 1880 and 1925, Case's analysis shows how race, gender, sexuality, and region worked within these institutions to shape education. Her comparative approach shines a particular light on how female education embodied the complex ways racial and gender identity functioned at the time. As she shows, the schools cultivated modesty and self-restraint to protect the students. Indeed, concerns about female sexuality and respectability united the schools despite their different student populations. Case also follows the lives of the women as adult teachers, alumnae, and activists who drew on their education to negotiate the New South's economic and social upheavals.
Liner Notes for the Revolution: The Intellectual Life of Black Feminist Sound
Daphne A. Brooks
Harvard University Press, 2021
Library of Congress ML3556.B74 2021 | Dewey Decimal 780.820973
Winner of the Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Winner of the American Book Award, Before Columbus Foundation
Winner of the PEN Oakland–Josephine Miles Award
Winner of the MAAH Stone Book Award
A Pitchfork Best Music Book of the Year
A Rolling Stone Best Music Book of the Year
“Brooks traces all kinds of lines, finding unexpected points of connection…inviting voices to talk to one another, seeing what different perspectives can offer, opening up new ways of looking and listening by tracing lineages and calling for more space.”
—New York Times
An award-winning Black feminist music critic takes us on an epic journey through radical sound from Bessie Smith to Beyoncé.
Daphne A. Brooks explores more than a century of music archives to examine the critics, collectors, and listeners who have determined perceptions of Black women on stage and in the recording studio. How is it possible, she asks, that iconic artists such as Aretha Franklin and Beyoncé exist simultaneously at the center and on the fringe of the culture industry?
Liner Notes for the Revolution offers a startling new perspective on these acclaimed figures—a perspective informed by the overlooked contributions of other Black women concerned with the work of their musical peers. Zora Neale Hurston appears as a sound archivist and a performer, Lorraine Hansberry as a queer Black feminist critic of modern culture, and Pauline Hopkins as America’s first Black female cultural commentator. Brooks tackles the complicated racial politics of blues music recording, song collecting, and rock and roll criticism. She makes lyrical forays into the blues pioneers Bessie Smith and Mamie Smith, as well as fans who became critics, like the record-label entrepreneur and writer Rosetta Reitz. In the twenty-first century, pop superstar Janelle Monae’s liner notes are recognized for their innovations, while celebrated singers Cécile McLorin Salvant, Rhiannon Giddens, and Valerie June take their place as cultural historians.
With an innovative perspective on the story of Black women in popular music—and who should rightly tell it—Liner Notes for the Revolution pioneers a long overdue recognition and celebration of Black women musicians as radical intellectuals.
Literary Sisters: Dorothy West and Her Circle, A Biography of the Harlem Renaissance
Mitchell, Verner D
Rutgers University Press, 2012
Library of Congress PS153.N5M58 2012 | Dewey Decimal 813.5209896073
Harlem Renaissance writer Dorothy West led a charmed life in many respects. Born into a distinguished Boston family, she appeared in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, then lived in the Soviet Union with a group that included Langston Hughes, to whom she proposed marriage. She later became friends with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who encouraged her to finish her second novel, The Wedding, which became the octogenarian author’s first bestseller.
Literary Sisters reveals a different side of West’s personal and professional lives—her struggles for recognition outside of the traditional literary establishment, and her collaborations with talented African American women writers, artists, and performers who faced these same problems. West and her “literary sisters”—women like Zora Neale Hurston and West’s cousin, poet Helene Johnson—created an emotional support network that also aided in promoting, publishing, and performing their respective works. Integrating rare photos, letters, and archival materials from West’s life, Literary Sisters is not only a groundbreaking biography of an increasingly important author but also a vivid portrait of a pivotal moment for African American women in the arts.
Little X: Growing Up In The Nation Of Islam
University of Tennessee Press, 2004
Library of Congress BP223.Z8T37 2005 | Dewey Decimal 297.87
"Instead of writing a bitter condemnation of the Nation of Islam, Tate has adroitly described its purpose as well as its shortcomings." —USA Today
"A temperate and sympathetic treatment of an African-American family's religious evolution." —Publishers Weekly
"A compelling story. It provides an honest, inside view of one of America's most controversial religious movements and perceptively points to social tensions of race, gender and religious identity." —Kirkus Reviews
"Extremely valuable. Recent literature is interested almost exclusively in male leaders. Tate's book provides a new perspective. I have used the book in a number of teaching contexts to very good results." —Judith Weisenfeld, Vassar College
In Little X, Sonsyrea Tate reveals, through the acute vision and engaging voice of a curious child, the practices and policies of the mysterious organization most know only through media portrayals of its controversial leaders Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, and Louis Farrakhan. First published in 1997, Little X chronicles the multigenerational experience of Tate's family, who broke from the traditional black church in the 1950s to join the radical Nation of Islam, then struggled to remain intact through disillusionment, shifting loyalties, and forays into Orthodox Islam.
Little X is also an absorbing story of a little girl whose strict Muslim education filled her with pride, confidence, and a longing for freedom, of a teenager in an ankle-length dress and headwrap struggling to fit in with non-Muslim peers, and of a young woman whose growing disillusionment with the Nation finally led to her break with the Muslim religion. Little X offers a rare glimpse into the everyday experience of the Nation of Islam, and into a little-understood part of America's history and heritage.
Sonsyrea Tate-Montgomery has been a staff writer for the Virginian Pilot, Chicago Tribune, and the Washington Post. The recipient of four coveted Echoes of Excellence awards from the National Association of Black Journalists, Tate has also worked as assistant to Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. She currently works as a political reporter for The Gazette, a Post-Newsweek publication.
Living for the Revolution: Black Feminist Organizations, 1968–1980
Duke University Press, 2005
Library of Congress HQ1421.S68 2005 | Dewey Decimal 305.4208996073
The first in-depth analysis of the black feminist movement, Living for the Revolution
fills in a crucial but overlooked chapter in African American, women’s, and social movement history. Through original oral history interviews with key activists and analysis of previously unexamined organizational records, Kimberly Springer traces the emergence, life, and decline of several black feminist organizations: the Third World Women’s Alliance, Black Women Organized for Action, the National Black Feminist Organization, the National Alliance of Black Feminists, and the Combahee River Collective. The first of these to form was founded in 1968; all five were defunct by 1980. Springer demonstrates that these organizations led the way in articulating an activist vision formed by the intersections of race, gender, class, and sexuality.
The organizations that Springer examines were the first to explicitly use feminist theory to further the work of previous black women’s organizations. As she describes, they emerged in response to marginalization in the civil rights and women’s movements, stereotyping in popular culture, and misrepresentation in public policy. Springer compares the organizations’ ideologies, goals, activities, memberships, leadership styles, finances, and communication strategies. Reflecting on the conflicts, lack of resources, and burnout that led to the demise of these groups, she considers the future of black feminist organizing, particularly at the national level. Living for the Revolution is an essential reference: it provides the history of a movement that influenced black feminist theory and civil rights activism for decades to come.