Cover image for "We specialize in the wholly impossible" : a reader in Black women's history
Title:
"We specialize in the wholly impossible" : a reader in Black women's history
Author:
Hine, Darlene Clark.
Publication Information:
Brooklyn, N.Y. : Carlson Pub., [1995]

©1995
Physical Description:
xiv, 618 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780926019805

9780926019812
Format :
Book

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E185.86 .W435 1995 Adult Non-Fiction Black History Non-Circ
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Summary

Summary

"Here, in a single volume, is a sweeping panorama of black women's experience throughout history and across classes and continents. The book is divided into six sections: theory; Africa; the Caribbean and Canada; 18th-century United States; 19th-century United States; and 20th-century United States. A remarkably diverse range of topics is covered, with chapters on subjects such as working-class consciousness among Afro-American women; the impact of slavery on family structure; black women missionaries in South Africa; slavery, sharecropping, and sexual inequality; black women during the American Revolution; imprisoned black women in the American West; women's welfare activism; SNCC and black women's activism; and property-owning free African-American women in the 19th-century South. Containing over 30 crucial essays by the most influential and prominent scholars in the field, including Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, Linda Gordon, and Nell Irvin Painter, "We Specialize in the Wholly Impossible" is a comprehensive assessment of black women's lives."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Summary

From the introduction:
This book was put together to reclaim, and to create heightened awareness about, individuals, contributions, and struggles that have made African-American survival and progress possible. We cannot accurately comprehend either our hidden potential or the full range of problems that besiege us until we know about the successful struggles that generations of foremothers waged against virtually insurmountable obstacles. We can, and will, chart a coherent future and win essential opportunities with a clear understanding of the past in all its pain and glory.

Here, in a single volume, is a sweeping panorama of black women's experience throughout history and across classes and continents. Containing over 30 crucial essays by the most influential and prominent scholars in the field, including Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, Linda Gordon, and Nell Irvin Painter, We Specialize in the Wholly Impossible is a comprehensive assessment of black women's lives.

The book is divided into six sections: theory; Africa; the Caribbean and Canada; 18th-century United States; 19th-century United States; and 20th-century United States. A remarkably diverse range of topics are covered, with chapters on such subjects as working-class consciousness among Afro-American women; the impact of slavery on family structure; black women missionaries in South Africa; slavery, sharecropping, and sexual inequality; black women during the American Revolution; imprisoned black women in the American West; women's welfare activism; SNCC and black women's activism; and property-owning free African-American women in the 19th-century South.


Reviews 4

Library Journal Review

Similar in format to the other volumes of the series, this book is a collection of 32 scholarly articles, most reprinted from journals since 1989. The first dozen articles address theory in black women's history and black women in Africa, Canada, and the Caribbean, while the bulk of the essays concentrates on black women in 18th-through 20th-century American history. The quotation in the title was a motto of a training school for black women. Hine also edited the well-received Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia (LJ 2/15/93). A shorter, older reader, Ellen Dubois's Unequal Sisters (Routledge, 1990), offers articles not only on African American women but other minority women as well. Recommended for undergraduate women's studies and African American history collections that do not hold the original sources.‘Patricia A. Beaber, Trenton State Coll. Lib., N.J. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal Review

YA‘In the introduction to this richly textured collection of essays by 30 authors, the editors clearly state their goal: ``to reclaim and to create heightened awareness about individuals, contributions, and struggles that have made African-American [women's] survival and progress possible.'' After three general essays, the material is organized both chronologically and geographically, moving from the colonial era through the 20th century. The experiences considered are those of women from Africa, the Caribbean, Canada, and the U.S. Topics include, among others, African women in the Atlantic slave trade; slave narratives of young women in the 1830s in the West Indies and the U.S.; property owning, free African American women in the South in the 1850s; the role of Mississippi African American women during the Civil War; and the significance of the costumes of 19th-century African American women. While the editors intend this reader as a text for courses in African American and women's history, the short, highly readable material will appeal to YAs.‘Margaret Nolan, W.T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Library Journal Review

Similar in format to the other volumes of the series, this book is a collection of 32 scholarly articles, most reprinted from journals since 1989. The first dozen articles address theory in black women's history and black women in Africa, Canada, and the Caribbean, while the bulk of the essays concentrates on black women in 18th-through 20th-century American history. The quotation in the title was a motto of a training school for black women. Hine also edited the well-received Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia (LJ 2/15/93). A shorter, older reader, Ellen Dubois's Unequal Sisters (Routledge, 1990), offers articles not only on African American women but other minority women as well. Recommended for undergraduate women's studies and African American history collections that do not hold the original sources.‘Patricia A. Beaber, Trenton State Coll. Lib., N.J. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal Review

YA‘In the introduction to this richly textured collection of essays by 30 authors, the editors clearly state their goal: ``to reclaim and to create heightened awareness about individuals, contributions, and struggles that have made African-American [women's] survival and progress possible.'' After three general essays, the material is organized both chronologically and geographically, moving from the colonial era through the 20th century. The experiences considered are those of women from Africa, the Caribbean, Canada, and the U.S. Topics include, among others, African women in the Atlantic slave trade; slave narratives of young women in the 1830s in the West Indies and the U.S.; property owning, free African American women in the South in the 1850s; the role of Mississippi African American women during the Civil War; and the significance of the costumes of 19th-century African American women. While the editors intend this reader as a text for courses in African American and women's history, the short, highly readable material will appeal to YAs.‘Margaret Nolan, W.T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.