The BookBrowse Review

Published January 22, 2020

ISSN: 1930-0018

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Book Jacket

A Black Women's History of the United States (ReVisioning American History)
by Daina Ramey Berry
4 Feb 2020
288 pages
Publisher: Beacon Press
ISBN-13: 9780807033555
Genre: History, Science & Current Affairs
Critics:
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A vibrant and empowering history that emphasizes the perspectives and stories of African American women to show how they are--and have always been--instrumental in shaping our country.

In centering Black women's stories, two award-winning historians seek both to empower African American women and to show their allies that Black women's unique ability to make their own communities while combatting centuries of oppression is an essential component in our continued resistance to systemic racism and sexism. Daina Ramey Berry and Kali Nicole Gross offer an examination and celebration of Black womanhood, beginning with the first African women who arrived in what became the United States to African American women of today.

A Black Women's History of the United States reaches far beyond a single narrative to showcase Black women's lives in all their fraught complexities. Berry and Gross prioritize many voices: enslaved women, freedwomen, religious leaders, artists, queer women, activists, and women who lived outside the law. The result is a starting point for exploring Black women's history and a testament to the beauty, richness, rhythm, tragedy, heartbreak, rage, and enduring love that abounds in the spirit of Black women in communities throughout the nation.

"A compact, exceptionally diverse introduction to the history of black women in America...For anyone hoping to topple the remaining barriers, this book is a font of inspiration...A vital book for any library or classroom." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"A substantial addition to popular history. Will likely be well-received by black women seeking better historical representation and by allies looking to educate themselves about black history." - Library Journal (starred review)

"Remarkably comprehensive and accessible, introductory and sophisticated, two ground-breaking historians have come together to produce a ground-breaking new history of Black women in the United States. To know the story of the United States is to know this indispensable story." - Ibram X. Kendi, author of Stamped from the Beginning and How to Be an Antiracist

"A powerful and important book that charts the rich and dynamic history of Black women in the United States. It shows how these courageous women challenged racial and gender oppression and boldly asserted their authority and visions of freedom even in the face of resistance. This book is required reading for anyone interested in social justice." - Keisha N. Blain, author of Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom

"Through the courageous and complex voices of black women, and with deft attention to the lives that black women have led from the earliest moments of conquest and colonialism to the dawn of the twenty-first century, historians Daina Ramey Berry and Kali Gross have utterly upended traditional accounts of the American past in ways most desperately needed in our American present." - Heather Ann Thompson, historian and Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy

Daina Ramey Berry is the Oliver H. Radkey Regents Professor of History and associate dean of the Graduate School at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author or co-editor of several previous books, including The Price for Their Pound of Flesh: The Value of the Enslaved, from Womb to Grave, in the Building of a Nation, winner of the 2017 SHEAR Book Award for Early American History.

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