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But Some Of Us Are Brave: All the Women Are White, All the Blacks Are Men: Black Women's Studies Paperback – Jan 1 1993

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: The Feminist Press at CUNY (Jan. 1 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0912670959
  • ISBN-13: 978-0912670959
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 726 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #239,743 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Format: Paperback
This compliation of essays lays down the curricular and research agenda for the establishment of a Black Women's Studies program in the academy. It weaves personal narrative, literary criticism, and empirical analysis which cogently argues that Black Studies and Women's Studies in academia do not adequately address the multiple consciousness of Black women through discourses on racism, sexism, classism, and sexuality. The authors of the various articles articulate the need to look at Black women's lives as multi-faceted and complex, neither wholly positive or negative. I am not sure if the authors decided to change the name of the book to make it more marketable but the original title is "All the Women are White, All the Blacks are Men,But Some of Us Are Brave: Black Women's Studies." I tend to prefer the original title because it brilliantly captures the dilemmas that Black women face in higher education and the wider - negation of their experiences as Black people and as women. The book delivers an historical examination of the Black Women's Studies movement that began in the early 1970's with the formation of the Combahee River Collective, a black feminist organization and the National Black Feminist Organization. It also pushes for the development of a Black Women's Studies program that reaches out beyond the halls of academe and situates its curricular and research agenda in political and economic organizing on behalf of Black women of all educational and economic classes.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa1da233c) out of 5 stars 8 reviews
60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa134f2b8) out of 5 stars Altering the Racist and Sexist Paradigm in Academia May 28 2001
By Clevagirl73 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This compliation of essays lays down the curricular and research agenda for the establishment of a Black Women's Studies program in the academy. It weaves personal narrative, literary criticism, and empirical analysis which cogently argues that Black Studies and Women's Studies in academia do not adequately address the multiple consciousness of Black women through discourses on racism, sexism, classism, and sexuality. The authors of the various articles articulate the need to look at Black women's lives as multi-faceted and complex, neither wholly positive or negative. I am not sure if the authors decided to change the name of the book to make it more marketable but the original title is "All the Women are White, All the Blacks are Men,But Some of Us Are Brave: Black Women's Studies." I tend to prefer the original title because it brilliantly captures the dilemmas that Black women face in higher education and the wider - negation of their experiences as Black people and as women. The book delivers an historical examination of the Black Women's Studies movement that began in the early 1970's with the formation of the Combahee River Collective, a black feminist organization and the National Black Feminist Organization. It also pushes for the development of a Black Women's Studies program that reaches out beyond the halls of academe and situates its curricular and research agenda in political and economic organizing on behalf of Black women of all educational and economic classes.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa134f420) out of 5 stars A Must Read For Those Interested in Black Womens Studies Jan. 7 2010
By D. Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a seminal novel in the field of Black Women's Studies, and although it was written about a decade ago it is still relevant. If you are a reader who is new to the field, and is striving to better understand Black Women's Studies and its founding principles, as well as the factors that lead to its development, then this book is for you.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa135b528) out of 5 stars gloria t hull and barbara smith Aug. 22 2013
By l'ecriveuse - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
they are the queens of black women's history. i especially like the smith sisters; they are lesbians and feel no need to protect and exonerate the guys who do not treat us like sisters. these stories will always be relevant as long as black women are expected to pull those load for white women who don't give a flip about us and the same for the "brothers" who only want us until they "make it".
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa136927c) out of 5 stars AN EXCEPTIONAL COLLECTION OF WRITINGS March 21 2016
By Steven H Propp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Co-editor Patricia Bell Scott has also written/co-written The Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship: Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice, Flat-Footed Truths: Telling Black Women's Lives, Black Adolescence: Current Issues and Annotated Bibliography, Double Stitch: Black Women Write About Mothers & Daughters, etc. Akasha [Gloria] Hull has also written Soul Talk: The New Spirituality of African American Women, Color, Sex, and Poetry: Three Women Writers of the Harlem Renaissance, and a novel Neicy.

Coeditors Gloria T. Hull and Barbara Smith wrote in their Introduction to this 1982 collection, “Four issues seem important for a consideration of the politics of Black women’s studies: (1) The general political situation of Afro-American women and the bearing this has had upon the implementation of Black women’s studies; (2) the relationship of Black women’s studies to Black feminist politics and the Black feminist movement; (3) the necessity for Black women’s studies to be feminist, radical, and analytical; and (4) the need for teachers of Black women’s studies to be aware of our problematic political positions in the academy and of the potentially antagonistic conditions under which we must work.” (Pg. xvii)

They continue, “The inception of Black women’s studies can be directly traced to three significant political movements of the twentieth century. These are the struggles for Black liberation and women’s liberation, which themselves fostered the growth of Black and women’s studies, and the more recent Black feminist movement, which is just beginning to show its strength. Black feminism has made a space for Black women’s studies to exist and, through its commitment to all Black women, will provide the basis for its survival.” (Pg. xx)

They admit, “Pulling the book together was a struggle---for reasons which are not unrelated to the politics of our lives as Black women scholars. Why did our call for papers not yield at least one essay on teaching about Black women? Why don’t more Black women write up their research and critical insights? Why do contributors and possible contributors fail to meet deadlines? Why are people reluctant to send so innocuous a piece as a syllabus for inclusion in the book? Why was it nearly impossible to arrange ‘one simple little’ editorial meeting? The answers appear in many forms. One woman admitted that the death of feminist energy in her article was caused by her having been recently traumatized by a well-known Black male critic who consistently made misogynistic statements about Black women writers and about the women in a seminar of which she was a part.” (Pg. xxix)

They add, “Originally, we had thought to make this book, not ‘Black Women’s Studies,’ but ‘Third World Women’s Studies.’ It became apparent almost immediately that we were not equipped to do so. We hope that this one volume on Black women helps to create a climate where succeeding works on American Indian, Asian American, and Latina women can more swiftly come into being.” (Pg. xxxi)

Some of the writings included are “A Black Feminist’s Search for Sisterhood” [Michele Wallace]; “Selected Bibliography on Black Feminism” [Patricia Bell Scott]; Alice Walker’s “One Child of One’s Own”; “Debunking Sapphire: Toward a Non-Racist and Non-Sexist Social Science” [Patricia Bell Scott]; “Three’s a Crowd: The Dilemma of the Black Woman in Higher Education” [Constance Carroll]; “Black Women and the Church” [Jacquelyn Grant]; “Toward a Black Feminist Criticism” [Barbara Smith]; “Black-Eyed Blues Connections: Teaching Black Women” [Michele Russell]; “American Black Women Composers: A Selected Annotated Bibliography”; etc.

To give you an idea of some of the richness contained herein, here are a few quotations: Michele Wallace’s essay notes, “One unusually awkward moment for me as a Black feminist was when I found out that white feminists often don’t view Black men as men but as fellow victims… White women … confront white men with and without jobs, with and without membership in a male consciousness-raising group. Yet when it comes to the Black man, it’s hands off. A Black friend of mine was fired by a Black news service because she was pregnant. When she proposed doing an article on this for Ms. [magazine], an editor there turned down the proposal with these words: ‘We’ve got a special policy for the Black man.’” (Pg. 10-11)

The Combahee River Collective wrote, “Although we are feminists and lesbians, we feel solidarity with progressive Black men and do not advocate the fractionalization that white women who are separatists demand. Our situation as Black people necessitates that we have solidarity about the fact of race, which white women of course do not need to have with white men, unless it is their negative solidarity as racial oppressors. We struggle together with Black men against racism, while we also struggle with Black men about sexism.” (Pg. 16)

Later, they add, “One issue that is of major concern to us and that we have begun to publicly address is racism in the white women’s movement. As Black feminist we are made constantly and painfully aware of how little effort white women have made to understand and combat their racism, which requires among other things that they have a more than superficial comprehension of race, color, and Black history and culture. Eliminating racism in the white women’s movement is by definition work for white women to do, but we will continue to speak to and demand accountability on this issue.” (Pg. 21)

The essay “Racism---A White Issue” by Ellen Pence [who is white] acknowledges, “I began talking to a Black friend of mine, Ella Gross, about how sick I was getting of the whole issue. Ella, in her normal blunt, direct way, told me that I was sick of it because I didn’t want to go past adjusting my behavior to recognizing my racism. In the many, many hours I spent talking to Ella, I began to see how white women ignored the need to reexamine the traditional white rigid methods of decision making, priority setting, and implementing decisions. Our idea of including women of color was to send out notices. We never came to the business table as equals. Women of color joined us on our terms… As white women, we continually expect women of color to bring us to an understanding of our racism. White women rarely meet to examine collectively our attitudes, our actions, and, most importantly, our resistance to change.” (Pg. 46)

Elizabeth Higginbotham observes, “Just as successful businesswomen have been defined out of the sex, Black women who have taken on economic and social roles to aid in the survival of their families are viewed as having given up some of their womanhood. Black women have not been praised by dominant-culture sociologists for their strong role in aiding family stability; on the contrary, they have been strongly criticized.” (Pg. 95)

Jacquelyn Grant says in her essay, ‘Black Women and the Church,’ “Black theology cannot continue to treat Black women as if they were invisible creatures who are on the outside looking into the Black experience, the Black church, and the Black theological enterprise. It will have to deal with women as integral parts of the whole community. Black theology, therefore, must speak to the bishops who hide behind the statement, ‘Women don’t want women pastors.’ It must speak to the pastors who say ‘My church isn’t ready for women preachers yet.’ It must teach the seminarians who feel that ‘Women have no place in the seminary.’ It must address the women in the church and in the community who are content and complacent with their oppression. It must challenge the educators who would reeducate the people on every issue except the dignity and equality of women.” (Pg. 148)

This is an exceptional collection of writings---and is the more to be appreciated for the “early” date in which it was published. It will be “must reading” for anyone interested in Black Women’s Studies, Womanism, Black Studies, feminism, or similar subjects.
HASH(0xa1369294) out of 5 stars AN EXCEPTIONAL COLLECTION OF WRITINGS March 21 2016
By Steven H Propp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Co-editor Patricia Bell Scott has also written/co-written The Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship: Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice, Flat-Footed Truths: Telling Black Women's Lives, Black Adolescence: Current Issues and Annotated Bibliography, Double Stitch: Black Women Write About Mothers & Daughters, etc. Akasha [Gloria] Hull has also written Soul Talk: The New Spirituality of African American Women, Color, Sex, and Poetry: Three Women Writers of the Harlem Renaissance, and a novel Neicy.

Coeditors Gloria T. Hull and Barbara Smith wrote in their Introduction to this 1982 collection, “Four issues seem important for a consideration of the politics of Black women’s studies: (1) The general political situation of Afro-American women and the bearing this has had upon the implementation of Black women’s studies; (2) the relationship of Black women’s studies to Black feminist politics and the Black feminist movement; (3) the necessity for Black women’s studies to be feminist, radical, and analytical; and (4) the need for teachers of Black women’s studies to be aware of our problematic political positions in the academy and of the potentially antagonistic conditions under which we must work.” (Pg. xvii)

They continue, “The inception of Black women’s studies can be directly traced to three significant political movements of the twentieth century. These are the struggles for Black liberation and women’s liberation, which themselves fostered the growth of Black and women’s studies, and the more recent Black feminist movement, which is just beginning to show its strength. Black feminism has made a space for Black women’s studies to exist and, through its commitment to all Black women, will provide the basis for its survival.” (Pg. xx)

They admit, “Pulling the book together was a struggle---for reasons which are not unrelated to the politics of our lives as Black women scholars. Why did our call for papers not yield at least one essay on teaching about Black women? Why don’t more Black women write up their research and critical insights? Why do contributors and possible contributors fail to meet deadlines? Why are people reluctant to send so innocuous a piece as a syllabus for inclusion in the book? Why was it nearly impossible to arrange ‘one simple little’ editorial meeting? The answers appear in many forms. One woman admitted that the death of feminist energy in her article was caused by her having been recently traumatized by a well-known Black male critic who consistently made misogynistic statements about Black women writers and about the women in a seminar of which she was a part.” (Pg. xxix)

They add, “Originally, we had thought to make this book, not ‘Black Women’s Studies,’ but ‘Third World Women’s Studies.’ It became apparent almost immediately that we were not equipped to do so. We hope that this one volume on Black women helps to create a climate where succeeding works on American Indian, Asian American, and Latina women can more swiftly come into being.” (Pg. xxxi)

Some of the writings included are “A Black Feminist’s Search for Sisterhood” [Michele Wallace]; “Selected Bibliography on Black Feminism” [Patricia Bell Scott]; Alice Walker’s “One Child of One’s Own”; “Debunking Sapphire: Toward a Non-Racist and Non-Sexist Social Science” [Patricia Bell Scott]; “Three’s a Crowd: The Dilemma of the Black Woman in Higher Education” [Constance Carroll]; “Black Women and the Church” [Jacquelyn Grant]; “Toward a Black Feminist Criticism” [Barbara Smith]; “Black-Eyed Blues Connections: Teaching Black Women” [Michele Russell]; “American Black Women Composers: A Selected Annotated Bibliography”; etc.

To give you an idea of some of the richness contained herein, here are a few quotations: Michele Wallace’s essay notes, “One unusually awkward moment for me as a Black feminist was when I found out that white feminists often don’t view Black men as men but as fellow victims… White women … confront white men with and without jobs, with and without membership in a male consciousness-raising group. Yet when it comes to the Black man, it’s hands off. A Black friend of mine was fired by a Black news service because she was pregnant. When she proposed doing an article on this for Ms. [magazine], an editor there turned down the proposal with these words: ‘We’ve got a special policy for the Black man.’” (Pg. 10-11)

The Combahee River Collective wrote, “Although we are feminists and lesbians, we feel solidarity with progressive Black men and do not advocate the fractionalization that white women who are separatists demand. Our situation as Black people necessitates that we have solidarity about the fact of race, which white women of course do not need to have with white men, unless it is their negative solidarity as racial oppressors. We struggle together with Black men against racism, while we also struggle with Black men about sexism.” (Pg. 16)

Later, they add, “One issue that is of major concern to us and that we have begun to publicly address is racism in the white women’s movement. As Black feminist we are made constantly and painfully aware of how little effort white women have made to understand and combat their racism, which requires among other things that they have a more than superficial comprehension of race, color, and Black history and culture. Eliminating racism in the white women’s movement is by definition work for white women to do, but we will continue to speak to and demand accountability on this issue.” (Pg. 21)

The essay “Racism---A White Issue” by Ellen Pence [who is white] acknowledges, “I began talking to a Black friend of mine, Ella Gross, about how sick I was getting of the whole issue. Ella, in her normal blunt, direct way, told me that I was sick of it because I didn’t want to go past adjusting my behavior to recognizing my racism. In the many, many hours I spent talking to Ella, I began to see how white women ignored the need to reexamine the traditional white rigid methods of decision making, priority setting, and implementing decisions. Our idea of including women of color was to send out notices. We never came to the business table as equals. Women of color joined us on our terms… As white women, we continually expect women of color to bring us to an understanding of our racism. White women rarely meet to examine collectively our attitudes, our actions, and, most importantly, our resistance to change.” (Pg. 46)

Elizabeth Higginbotham observes, “Just as successful businesswomen have been defined out of the sex, Black women who have taken on economic and social roles to aid in the survival of their families are viewed as having given up some of their womanhood. Black women have not been praised by dominant-culture sociologists for their strong role in aiding family stability; on the contrary, they have been strongly criticized.” (Pg. 95)

Jacquelyn Grant says in her essay, ‘Black Women and the Church,’ “Black theology cannot continue to treat Black women as if they were invisible creatures who are on the outside looking into the Black experience, the Black church, and the Black theological enterprise. It will have to deal with women as integral parts of the whole community. Black theology, therefore, must speak to the bishops who hide behind the statement, ‘Women don’t want women pastors.’ It must speak to the pastors who say ‘My church isn’t ready for women preachers yet.’ It must teach the seminarians who feel that ‘Women have no place in the seminary.’ It must address the women in the church and in the community who are content and complacent with their oppression. It must challenge the educators who would reeducate the people on every issue except the dignity and equality of women.” (Pg. 148)

This is an exceptional collection of writings---and is the more to be appreciated for the “early” date in which it was published. It will be “must reading” for anyone interested in Black Women’s Studies, Womanism, Black Studies, feminism, or similar subjects.


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