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The Sisters Are Alright : Changing the Broken Narrative of Black Women in America
by Tamara Winfrey Harris


Overview - GOLD MEDALIST OF FOREWORD REVIEWS' 2015 INDIEFAB AWARDS IN WOMEN'S STUDIES
What's wrong with black women? Not a damned thing
The Sisters Are Alright exposes anti black-woman propaganda and shows how real black women are pushing back against distorted cartoon versions of themselves.
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More About The Sisters Are Alright by Tamara Winfrey Harris
 
 
 
Overview
GOLD MEDALIST OF FOREWORD REVIEWS' 2015 INDIEFAB AWARDS IN WOMEN'S STUDIES
What's wrong with black women? Not a damned thing
The Sisters Are Alright exposes anti black-woman propaganda and shows how real black women are pushing back against distorted cartoon versions of themselves.
When African women arrived on American shores, the three-headed hydra servile Mammy, angry Sapphire, and lascivious Jezebel followed close behind. In the '60s, the Matriarch, the willfully unmarried baby machine leeching off the state, joined them. These stereotypes persist to this day through newspaper headlines, Sunday sermons, social media memes, cable punditry, government policies, and hit song lyrics. Emancipation may have happened more than 150 years ago, but America still won't let a sister be free from this coven of caricatures.
Tamara Winfrey Harris delves into marriage, motherhood, health, sexuality, beauty, and more, taking sharp aim at pervasive stereotypes about black women. She counters warped prejudices with the straight-up truth about being a black woman in America. We have facets like diamonds, she writes. The trouble is the people who refuse to see us sparkling. "

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781626563513
  • ISBN-10: 1626563519
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
  • Publish Date: July 2015
  • Page Count: 160


Related Categories

Books > Social Science > Women's Studies - General
Books > Social Science > Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - General
Books > Social Science > Feminism & Feminist Theory

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2015-05-18
  • Reviewer: Staff

Winfrey-Harris wants to set the record straight on the lives of black women in America. Through her own recollections and interviews with other, mostly middle-class, black women, she shows the obstacles they fight against, the flak they receive—including from black men—and how well many of them are doing despite it all. This energetic, passionate, and progressive mission statement illuminates old stereotypes that continue to dog black women today: servile, self-sacrificing Mammy; emasculating Sapphire; licentious Jezebel; and the post-1960s image of the Matriarch, a baby-producing single mom on welfare. More poignantly, Winfrey-Harris shows how negative perceptions cause African-American women to “hold their tongues,” “deny their sexuality,” and despise their appearances. At the same time, she emphasizes the extent to which black women are now directing their own lives and overcoming the race and gender biases so embedded in the culture. To wit, African-American women have the highest workforce participation rate among all American women, and in 2013, 1.1 million owned their own businesses. Jamyla Bennu, an entrepreneur featured in the book, founded Oyin Handmade, a company aimed at showing black women how to take care of and celebrate their hair. Winfrey-Harris amplifies the voices of African-American women speaking for themselves, and the results are powerful, relevant, and affirming. (July)

 
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