Cover image for Why I love black women
Why I love black women
Dyson, Michael Eric.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Basic Civitas Books, [2003]

Physical Description:
xxi, 314 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
Includes index.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E185.86 .D976 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
E185.86 .D976 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
E185.86 .D976 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
E185.86 .D976 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Son and husband, soulmate and teacher, Michael Eric Dyson owes his success to the love and support of the black women in his life. Yet too often, he warns, African American women are the victims of negative stereotypes that dominate the larger culture and even many quarters of black America. It's time to stop viewing black women as scolding sapphires, welfare queens, professional prima donnas-and carping competitors with white women -and to start giving them the respect and the love they deserve.Why I Love Black Women is an act of cultural restoration that rescues black women from vicious rhetoric and irresponsible generalizations. It is a catalogue of virtues, an unapologetically cheerful view of black women that rescues their strengths and beauties from callous denial or cruel indifference. Deeply personal and socially provocative, Dyson singles out the defining virtues of African American women. More than a colored knock-off of "vanilla" virtues, these qualities evoke praise and conjure awe in the face of black women's struggles. In an era marred by bigoted and baleful beliefs about black women-from hip-hop to the pulpit, from the streets to scholarly focus-Dyson offers a welcome reprieve from cultural madness. Why I Love Black Women explodes taboos while it celebrates the perseverance and the pride, the sensuality and the sophistication, of African American women everywhere.

Author Notes

Michael Eric Dyson , named by Ebony as one of the hundred most influential black Americans, is the author of sixteen books, including Holler if You Hear Me , Is Bill Cosby Right? and I May Not Get There With You: The True Martin Luther King Jr. He is currently University Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Dyson draws on his personal life, marriages, and history to praise and celebrate black women. He starts with the women (mother, teachers, writers) who put his feet on the path from young welfare father in a Detroit ghetto to celebrated theologian, writer, and social commentator. He profiles several prominent and unknown black women who have made valuable contributions to national life and to Dyson's personal life. Among the black female icons he celebrates are the revolutionaries Angela Davis and Assata Shakur, the legislators Maxine Waters and Barbara Lee, and legal scholar Kimberle Williams Crenshaw. Dyson ties them to a historical lineage of black women who have supported black men despite strained relationships, disparities in income and educational levels, and interracial dating and marriage. Dyson takes to task those aspects of black culture, from hip-hop music to church doctrine, that undermine or disrespect black women. He ends with a sermon, a message of mutual respect and love that is particularly applicable to the continuing struggles of black men and women. --Vanessa Bush

Publisher's Weekly Review

With his Open Mike: Reflections of Philosophy, Race, Sex, Culture and Religion published by Basic just 60 days prior to this title, Dyson-University of Pennsylvania professor and the author of sensitive and determined polemics covering the legacy of Martin Luther King (I May Not Get There with You), the murder of Tupac Shakur (Holler if You Hear Me) and the political and cultural impact of Malcolm X (Making Malcolm)-is on a roll. This book, mostly set amid Dyson's barnstorming of the lecture circuit, records his meetings and discussions with black women throughout his life, and takes stock, from a highly partisan perspective, of their recent accomplishments. Dyson's descriptions of the women he meets are nearly novelistic: "I can still see her face: a honey chocolate, pie-shaped visage silhouetted by a shock of dark curls and lit by bright eyes that were lanterns of learning through which her students illuminated the first time to dark corners of black history," he writes of his fifth grade teacher in the book's opening sentence. But he goes on to give astute accounts, peppered with dialogue and compelling historical digressions, of the binds facing successful black women, who have to contend with racism in the workplace and the threat they represent to black men still struggling to find their own collective professional identities. He details his youthful fascination with Angela Davis (whom he later meets) and his admiration for "brave black revolutionary" Assata Shakur. He delves into the life and work of Susan Taylor, "In the Spirit" columnist for Essence magazine, and many others, including his wife, ordained minister Marcia Dyson. The author sneaks a remarkable amount of history and political content into this energetic, clearly voiced title. It should attract a diverse audience, from self-help to cultural studies readers. (Feb. 14) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved