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Don't Call Us Out of Name: The Untold Lives of Women and Girls in Poor…
by Lisa Dodson
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0807042099, Paperback)In Don't Call Us Out of Name, a 15-year-old, rendered invisible to her teachers by poverty, shrewdly says, "They don't notice us till we get pregnant." Author Lisa Dodson draws on the pithy words of this girl and others in the Boston school system who participated in focus groups dedicated to prying loose their thoughts on such subjects as poverty, romance, sex, race, class, pregnancy, domestic violence, and raising children. Many are predictably lost; some are drifting toward the shoals of teenage motherhood; others are sexually abused "rag-doll girls" fueled by an overwhelming urge to placate others; and some are so angry they seem bound to immolate themselves and anyone else in their path. Their savvy is heartbreaking because it's laced with typical adolescent dreams that, for them, seem unattainable. Still, some among the girls and women who recount their lives here are resourcefully determined to shake off poverty and make everyone sit up and take notice. When one mother's 7-year-old comes home from school asking her how to spell "welfare recipient," she feels "humiliated, betrayed, and finally outraged," that all her work, care, struggles, and love could be reduced to that one derogatory phrase. A normally meek person, she begins to speak out everywhere about "the importance of family duty and of respecting women and raising children properly." This leads to a job at a local school and later a community center. Dodson's gift is to make us clearly see the world these women and girls inhabit and pray for their survival. --Francesca Coltrera
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:44 -0400)
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