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Recipient of the 2002 Bruce Catton Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Historical Writing
In this "stunning collection of documents" (Washington Post Book World), African-American women speak of themselves, their lives, ambitions, and struggles from the colonial period to the present day. Theirs are stories of oppression and survival, of family and community self-help, of inspiring heroism and grass-roots organizational continuity in the face of racism, economic hardship, and, far too often, violence. Their vivid accounts, their strong and insistent voices, make for inspiring reading, enriching our understanding of the American past.
"A very timely and powerful collection which gives emphasis to the magnificent role of Black women in the struggle of Black people to survive in this, the United States."—Nathan Irvin Huggins
"Gerda Lerner has collected...material which can change images that whites have had of Blacks, and possibly even those which we, as Blacks, have of ourselves."—Maya Angelou
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Tell It Like It Was
The Struggle for Survival
A Woman's Fate
On the Road to Freedom
2. The Struggle for Education
Learning to Teach
3. A Woman's Lot
Black Women are Sex Objects for White Men
The Myth of the "Bad" Black Woman
The Rape of Black Women as a Weapon of Terror
Black Women Attack the Lynching System
4. Making a Living
Doing Domestic Work
From Service Jobs to the Factory
5. Survival is a Form of Resistance
6. In Government Service and Political Life
7. The Monster Prejudice
In the Grip of the Monster
8. "Lifting As We Climb"
From Benevolent Societies to National Club Movement
Inside a White Organization--The Young Women's Christian Association
9. Race Pride
10. Black Women Speak of Womanhood