Mocha Readers Message Board › Candidates For August 2013
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Miami Beach, FL
Black Sexual Politics: African Americans, Gender, and the New Racism by Patricia Hill Collins(384 pages)
Drawing on vivid images of hypersexual blacks and the sociological theses of strong black women and weak black men, Collins explores an astonishing range of ideas and images through history, sociology, and popular culture. Rather than debate the dominance of race versus sex in the history of social injustice to black men and women, Collins offers a theory of "intersectionality," viewing race, gender, and sexuality together. She explores the social and personal implications of historical images (black men as rapists deserving of lynching and black women so immoral it was impossible to rape them) and more current concerns about the influence of prison culture on urban youth culture that glorifies connections between sex and violence. Demonstrating how the politics of race has traditionally neglected concerns about gender and sexual orientation, Collins explores a range of issues, advocating that black people "ready up some honesty" and redefine notions of masculinity and femininity.
MDPLS – 3 Copies
BPL – 3 Copies
Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America by Kumea Shorter-Gooden, Charisse Jones(358 copies)
Do you ever feel that you have to leave your true self at the door in order to placate White colleagues? Do you downplay your abilities for fear of outshining Black men? Do you speak one way in the office, another way to your girlfriends? Is it sometimes a struggle to feel good about how you look -- your skin color, your hair, your body size and shape? In this arresting and groundbreaking work, authors Charisse Jones and Kumea Shorter-Gooden, Ph.D., articulate with deep understanding what it is really like to be Black and female in America today.
Based on the African American Women's Voices Project, an interview and questionnaire study with four hundred women across the United States and from many walks of life, "Shifting" reveals that a large number of Black women feel pressure to compromise their true selves in order to fit in to American society. From one moment to the next, they report changing inwardly and outwardly -- "Shifting" "White," then "Shifting" "Black" again, "Shifting" "corporate," "Shifting" "cool" -- a coping and survival skill that often diminishes the joys of living an authentic life.
"Shifting" can have a devastating effect on a woman's body and soul. In a culture that is both racist and sexist, Black women are suffering. They are susceptible to an array of psychological problems, including anxiety, low self-esteem, disordered eating, depression, and even outright self-hatred. They may make others feel comfortable, but too often they are left feeling conflicted, weary, and alone.
Yet their revealing voices are utterly cathartic. As Black women talk openly about their lives -- contending with the workplace, mothering, coming to terms with their beauty, forging relationships with men, living their spirituality -- they describe what it takes to "make it" despite everything, and bring to light how essential it is to explode the myths and stereotypes still in place.
MDPLS – 5 Copies
BPL – 10 Copies
Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America by Melissa V. Harris-Perry (400 pages)
On an ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, Julia awakes to discover that something has happened to the rotation of the earth. The days and nights are growing longer and longer; gravity is affected; the birds, the tides, human behavior, and cosmic rhythms are thrown into disarray. In a world that seems filled with danger and loss, Julia also must face surprising developments in herself, and in her personal world—divisions widening between her parents, strange behavior by her friends, the pain and vulnerability of first love, a growing sense of isolation, and a surprising, rebellious new strength. With crystalline prose and the indelible magic of a born storyteller, Karen Thompson Walker gives us a breathtaking portrait of people finding ways to go on in an ever-evolving world.
MDPLS – 4 Copies
BPL – 3 Copies
Black Woman Redefined: Dispelling Myths and Discovering Fulfillment in the Age of Michelle Obama by Sophia Nelson (260 pages)
This is the rallying cry that author Sophia A. Nelson wants all of America to grapple with when it comes to the way we view and treat black women.
Black Woman Redefined was inspired in part by what Nelson calls "open season on accomplished black women,” which reached a tipping point in 2007 when Don Imus referred to black female Rutger’s University basketball co-eds as "nappy-headed hos.” Since then, we’ve seen First Lady Michelle Obama caricatured on the infamous New Yorker cover, when she was called "angry” and "unpatriotic”; the 2009 groundbreaking Yale University Study on professional black women titled, "Marriage Eludes High-Achieving Black Women”; ABC’s "Why Can’t a Successful Black Woman Find a Man?” and the Internet video that went viral, "Black Marriage Negotiations,” featuring a successful black woman interviewing a nice black man to be her mate in a robotic, controlling, emasculating, Bible-thumping demeanor. More recently, we were subjected to the 2011 Super Bowl commercial that started a national firestorm featuring an "angry black woman” throwing a soda can at her mate, after first kicking, slapping, and emasculating him.
Nelson says black women are tired of such depictions that portray them as manless, childless, angry, and unfulfilled. Nelson sets out to change this cultural perception, taking readers on a no-holds-barred journey into the hearts and minds of accomplished black women to reveal truths, tribulations, and insights like never before.
MDPLS – 3 Copies