"This is one of those rare books that quickly became the standard work in its field. Professor White has done justice to the complexity of her subject."―Anne Firor Scott, Duke UniversityLiving with the dual burdens of racism and sexism, slave women in the plantation South assumed roles within the family and community that contrasted sharply with traditional female roles in the larger American society. This new edition of Ar'n't I a Woman? reviews and updates the scholarship on slave women and the slave family, exploring new ways of understanding the intersection of race and gender and comparing the myths that stereotyped female slaves with the realities of their lives. Above all, this groundbreaking study shows us how black women experienced freedom in the Reconstruction South ― their heroic struggle to gain their rights, hold their families together, resist economic and sexual oppression, and maintain their sense of womanhood against all odds.
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Deborah Gray White is professor of history and co-director of the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis at Rutgers University. She is also the author of Too Heavy a Load.From Library Journal:
This book challenges the myth of the Southern mammy and other myths and attempts a richer, more complex pic ture of the lives of black women in slav ery. Drawing on historical evidence, in cluding slave narratives and the diaries and autobiographies of white Southern ers, as well as on recent scholarship on the black family, the author examines slave women's daily life, occupations, family roles, and female networks. She finds strength and resourcefulness, but denies that female slaves played a dom ineering role in their families. Her view will be of interest to scholars, especial ly those studying comparative female social roles. For most readers, howev er, the story of slave women is better told in Jacqueline Jones's comprehen sive work on black women, Labor of Love, Labor of Sorrow (LJ 3/1/85). Mary Drake McFeely, Smith Coll. Lib., Northampton, Mass.
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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