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Brave Black Women: From Slavery to the Space…

Brave Black Women: From Slavery to the Space Shuttle

by Ruthe Winegarten

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Before you actually get into it, there is very little to indicate that this book focuses on Texas history, so I only figured it out as I went. I also had assumed (and hoped) that it was written by black women, but the authors turn out to be two white women. So there was a lot that wasn't what I expected.

It reads essentially like a list, with many women getting only one or two sentences, but I kind of enjoyed that; it gives the impression that there's far too much to tell in detail, and just inundates you with brief stories of fantastic women. (This is also probably because it's a book adapted for younger readers, which is yet another thing I didn't notice when I picked it up.) We have Bessie Coleman, Mae Jemison, Phylicia Rashad, Vivian Ayers Allen and Debbie Allen (Rashad's mother and sister), Sheryl Swoopes, Sheila Jackson Lee, plus dozens of others — judges, teachers, athletes, artists, architects, engineers, professors, members of Congress — and then we have Barbara Jordan.

Another thing you can't tell up front is that Jordan forms the framework of this book. Every section, the preface and all eleven chapters, begins with a quote from one of her speeches. The final chapter focuses entirely on her, and then is followed by a timeline of her life. Having read this book, I can see that the authors' respect is well deserved, for Barbara Jordan as well as all the other women who broke new ground and paved the way for us to come behind them.
  mirikayla | Feb 8, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0292791070, Paperback)

Brave black women have played important roles in American history. Before the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, black women bore the bonds of slavery with courage and strength. Since Emancipation, black women have supported schools, churches, and civic organizations, entered many professions, and helped to build strong communities. This book dramatizes their impressive story and celebrates their achievements.

Writing especially for students in grades four through eight, Ruthe Winegarten and Sharon Kahn trace the history of black women from slavery until today. Their story includes many heroines, from Emily Morgan, "the Yellow Rose of Texas," to pioneer aviator Bessie Coleman, astronaut Mae Jemison, opera singer Barbara Conrad, actresses Phylicia Rashad and Debbie Allen, and Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, whose life story forms the final chapter.

In addition to these famous black women, the book also profiles teachers, businesswomen, civil rights leaders, community activists, doctors, nurses, athletes, musicians, artists, and political leaders. Adapted from the award-winning Black Texas Women: 150 Years of Trial and Triumph, it will be fascinating reading for children and their parents and grandparents, teachers, and librarians.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:30 -0400)

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