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About the Author

Daina Ramey Berry is associate professor of history and African and African diaspora studies, and the Oliver H. Radkey Regents Fellow in History, at the University of Texas at Austin. An award-winning historian, she is also a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. She show more lives in Austin, Texas. show less

Works by Daina Ramey Berry

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Birthdate
ca. 1970
Gender
female
Nationality
USA
Occupations
professor

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Reviews

This covers so much ground and gives speculative musings for the oldest periods where Black women surely existed but were not counted, let alone included in the narrative. The more recent histories where we have more details were fantastic. While the thin details of the past aren't always engaging, it's a stark reminder of why this book is so important. Black women's voices are so important and they've always been here.
 
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KallieGrace | 7 other reviews | Feb 27, 2024 |
Read like a text book, I feel like for me when I am reading non fiction history, it’s easier for me with a strong narrative. There were so many stories that were way too short to get impact from.
½
 
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lavellemt | 7 other reviews | Dec 27, 2023 |
Acompact, exceptionally diverse introduction to the history of black women in America, rooted in “everyday heroism.”

As Berry (History/Univ. of Texas; The Price for Their Pound of Flesh: The Value of the Enslaved, From Womb to Grave, in the Building of a Nation, 2017, etc.) and Gross (History/Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick; Hannah Mary Tabbs and the Disembodied Torso: A Tale of Race, Sex and Violence in America, 2016, etc.) persuasively argue, black women have “significantly shaped” our nation—and fought for their rights—throughout every period of American history. Yet their contributions often have been overlooked or underappreciated. In the latest book in the publisher’s ReVisioning American History series, the authors offer a selective but wide-ranging search-and-rescue mission for black female activists, trailblazers, and others who have left a mark. In the first chapter, they introduce Isabel de Olvera, who became one of the first black women to set foot on what is now American soil after joining an expedition from Mexico in the early 17th century. From there, Berry and Gross proceed chronologically, opening each chapter with a vignette about a signal figure such as Shirley Chisholm, the daughter of Caribbean immigrants who became the first black female member of Congress. Along the way, the authors frequently discuss members of traditionally underrepresented groups, among them the lesbian blues singer Gladys Bentley and the conjoined twins Millie and Christine McKoy, whose exploitation by mid-19th-century showmen suggests the perils faced by black women with disabilities. The result is a narrative that highlights both setbacks and achievements in many spheres—sports, business, education, the arts, military service, and more. While their overall approach is celebratory, Berry and Gross also deal frankly with morally complex topics, such as women who committed infanticide rather than see a child enslaved. Amid their gains, black women face enduring challenges that include police brutality and other forms of “misogynoir,” or “gendered, anti-Black violence.” For anyone hoping to topple the remaining barriers, this book is a font of inspiration.

A vital book for any library or classroom—and for foot soldiers in the fight for racial justice.

-Kirkus Review
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CDJLibrary | 7 other reviews | Jun 9, 2023 |
Although I’m of course not an expert here, this being my first book on Black-women-as-such, or any kind of intersectionality, the most obvious theme, the overwhelming pain of Black women and men in American history, is plain enough.

As far as gender goes, I think—in no particular order—that it’s of course not my business to mediate between between Black women and men; that despite sometimes having an irritated perception that not everybody cares if whitey treats his girl the right way, it is clearly the case that the overwhelming racial pain in America’s past and present separates white women from Black women, as white men from Black men; that Black women have also suffered racial and sexual violence from white men, Black men not being the only targets; and that Black lesbians and other African gender nonconformists are part of the queer community.

As far as the nature of race and history, it’s obviously been true, as hard as it is to correct, that the aim of historians has been to make history books as white as possible, even completely white if possible, and that the resulting art or science has been correspondingly European in complexion. Although we have some information now about Black people even during the period of American slavery, and Black history does not begin with the obviously pivotal civil rights movement, and despite that Black history does, in fact, exist, it is even now much less documented and studied than what I call general history, and therefore even now it is easy for the student of this art or science to consciously or unconsciously discount the Black element, and/or for the Black individual to assume either that history is nothing, and/or that it has nothing for himself or herself. This book is one small part in the beginning of reversing this long-standing and still very entrenched trend.
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goosecap | 7 other reviews | Mar 2, 2023 |

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Works
8
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732
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Rating
4.2
Reviews
21
ISBNs
27

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