I'm Every Woman: Remixed Stories of Marriage, Motherhood, and Work

3.64 avg rating
( 22 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780060592936: I'm Every Woman: Remixed Stories of Marriage, Motherhood, and Work

Black women have been balancing the competing demands of work and home since before women even won the right to vote. But black voices are barely acknowledged in the mainstream "mommy wars" dialogue. Lonnae O'Neal Parker is determined to change that, in this uncommonly smart, highly acclaimed, and often witty examination—part memoir, part reportage—of how today's black women meet the challenges of marriage, motherhood, and work.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Lonnae O'Neal Parker is a Pulitzer Prize–nominated reporter for the Washington Post and a contributing editor to Essence. She lives in Prince George's County, Maryland.

From The Washington Post:

This could have been a marketing ploy, a filling of a niche. After all, search an online bookstore for "working mothers," and you might get 750 hits, reports Lonnae O'Neal Parker. Add the word "black," and you get only seven. But as a black working mother herself, Parker knows there are many women like her out there and have been for a long time -- surely long enough to have a few more books on the shelf. With I'm Every Woman, Parker claims a spot on the shelves for her perspective on what it is to be a married, professional, black, middle-class mother. And her book -- part memoir, part analysis -- is far too heartfelt to be a mere marketing ploy.

Black women have watched the mommy wars ("the media-fueled at-home- versus at-work-mom conflict," as Parker, a Washington Post reporter, defines it) from the sidelines because, for most, the outcome has already been decided. Black mothers work, end of story. It's a backhanded gift from American history, left over from slavery and the Jim Crow laws that made it illegal for a black woman to stay at home and not toil as a sharecropper alongside the rest of her family: "Black women and field work and house work and paid-outside-the-house work simply go too far back," Parker writes. "I can't ever recall a conversation with a black woman who asked me why I worked, and when I hear of a black woman who doesn't, I'm glad she's got a man who's earning money and willing to give her the opportunity to nurture her own family because the historical significance of her position is profound."

History can intrude even upon the daily routine. Parker pulls her fellow black mothers right in when she notes that running out of hair grease is a major element of a hectic morning, right up there with volunteering at the kids' school just before having to interview officials at the Cuban Interest Section: "Unless you have a child whose hair goes out instead of down, it can be difficult to quantify the pressures, time and otherwise, that a kink coefficient can add to your day. Hard to describe the necessity of gripping a hairbrush until . . . your fingers begin to spasm. Or to convey the ritual constant -- sometimes affirming, sometimes tearful -- stretching back over all the generations we remember, of planting a daughter between your knees and trying to bring a diasporic sensibility to the Africa growing from her head."

But Parker's respect for history -- with the giant asterisk of slavery and loved ones lost that African American women have suffered -- keeps her from whining too much about day-to-day annoyances. Race and culture can be funny and, as Parker writes, the obsession with hair is "a black woman thing, and I'm not sure if other folks understand." But she does an excellent job of explaining it to everyone else.

Parker is a passionate storyteller, remembering her childhood on the South Side of Chicago, living first in an all-black area, then in a more integrated one. Her mother, with whom she has had plenty of ups and downs, emerges as the hero. Betty Lou is a survivor, raising three kids amid a hard marriage to Parker's alcoholic and schizophrenic father, who killed himself in 1985 when Parker was 18. Betty Lou retired after 32 years as a schoolteacher and recently confessed that she once burned down an abandoned house next door that was a "beacon for winos and children." Now that's a real mother for you.

Parker, too, must make difficult decisions about how to protect her kids from unfortunate influences. To find faces and thoughts and humor in popular culture that jibe with her educated, middle-class, forward-thinking sensibilities is a constant challenge. "The Cosby Show" and "The Andy Griffith Show," with their homespun lessons for living, are approved for the Parker family television. UPN fare, which she describes as "cartoonishly black," is not. Music, which Parker loves (the book's title is from a Chaka Khan song, and R&B lyrics are sprinkled liberally throughout), is equally problematic. Long a hip-hop fan, she has always hated its misogyny and explicit videos. The filter on her stereo is as strong as the one on her TV. Her children probably know more about the 1979 hit "Rapper's Delight" than they do about current superstar 50 Cent.

Parker is refreshingly frank about the cultural hurdles she's had to overcome to keep it all together: Her marriage has required a counselor and her house well-compensated domestic help. So if Parker seems at times as if she can handle anything, it could be that she is speaking for herself when she writes, "It's not that I think black women have all the answers -- only that we have struggled with the questions longer."

Reviewed by Lori Buckner Farmer
Copyright 2005, The Washington Post. All Rights Reserved.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Parker, Lonnae O'Neal
Published by Amistad 2006-10-31 (2006)
ISBN 10: 0060592931 ISBN 13: 9780060592936
New Paperback Quantity Available: 2
Seller
ThriftTaco
(INDIAN TRAIL, NC, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Amistad 2006-10-31, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 0060592931 Brand new and ships pronto! 100% guarantee. Multiple quanities available. Bookseller Inventory # BOOKS98-9780060592936-11-9856

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 4.24
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Lonnae O Neal Parker
Published by Amistad Press, United States (2006)
ISBN 10: 0060592931 ISBN 13: 9780060592936
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Amistad Press, United States, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 127 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Black women have been balancing the competing demands of work and home since before women even won the right to vote. But black voices are barely acknowledged in the mainstream mommy wars dialogue. Lonnae O Neal Parker is determined to change that, in this uncommonly smart, highly acclaimed, and often witty examination--part memoir, part reportage--of how today s black women meet the challenges of marriage, motherhood, and work. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780060592936

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 11.90
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Parker, Lonnae O'Neal
ISBN 10: 0060592931 ISBN 13: 9780060592936
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
Pbshop
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2006. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # IB-9780060592936

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 8.04
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Lonnae O Neal Parker
Published by Amistad Press, United States (2006)
ISBN 10: 0060592931 ISBN 13: 9780060592936
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Amistad Press, United States, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 127 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Black women have been balancing the competing demands of work and home since before women even won the right to vote. But black voices are barely acknowledged in the mainstream mommy wars dialogue. Lonnae O Neal Parker is determined to change that, in this uncommonly smart, highly acclaimed, and often witty examination--part memoir, part reportage--of how today s black women meet the challenges of marriage, motherhood, and work. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780060592936

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 12.17
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Parker, Lonnae O'Neal
ISBN 10: 0060592931 ISBN 13: 9780060592936
New Paperback Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
BargainBookStores
(Grand Rapids, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 1098877

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 8.82
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Parker, Lonnae O'Neal
Published by Amistad (2006)
ISBN 10: 0060592931 ISBN 13: 9780060592936
New Paperback Quantity Available: 14
Seller
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Amistad, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 0060592931

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 10.52
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 2.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Parker, Lonnae O'Neal
Published by Amistad
ISBN 10: 0060592931 ISBN 13: 9780060592936
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
Mediaoutlet12345
(Springfield, VA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Amistad. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0060592931 *BRAND NEW* Ships Same Day or Next!. Bookseller Inventory # SWATI2132293008

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 10.83
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Lonnae ONeal Parker
ISBN 10: 0060592931 ISBN 13: 9780060592936
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Castle Rock
(Pittsford, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97800605929361.0

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 11.22
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Parker, Lonnae O'Neal
Published by Amistad
ISBN 10: 0060592931 ISBN 13: 9780060592936
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 3
Seller
Lakeside Books
(Benton Harbor, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Amistad. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0060592931 BRAND NEW, GIFT QUALITY! NOT OVERSTOCKS OR MARKED UP REMAINDERS! DIRECT FROM THE PUBLISHER!|0.5 Some items may NOT be available for International Shipping. Please contact us about a particular item. Bookseller Inventory # OTF-Y-9780060592936

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 11.50
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Parker, Lonnae O'Neal
Published by Amistad
ISBN 10: 0060592931 ISBN 13: 9780060592936
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Qwestbooks COM LLC
(Bensalem, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Amistad. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0060592931. Bookseller Inventory # Z0060592931ZN

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 15.73
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book