“Black women’s voices animate this book, as few can more effectively describe the complexities of their lives than Black women themselves.”—A Black Women’s History of the United States by Daina Ramey Berry & Kali Nicole Gross
I recently finished this book, but like many of the books I have read this year, it’s only the start. The start of my adult history lessons. This book is a beginning, an introduction to the immense history of Black Women’s history in the United States. [Thank you to the publisher, Beacon Press for gifted copy to read and share]
I’d be remiss if I tried to summarize or review this book. Instead I share some of the people, subjects & events I’d like to further investigate.
🖤 Elizabeth Keye: one of the first women of African decent to receive her freedom after filing a freedom petition for the liberty of herself and her son.
🖤 Black women ran away from their enslavers and agreed to fight for the British Army in 1775 in exchange for their freedom. “Black women sailed waterways, estuaries, and the Atlantic to create passageways to freedom during the American Revolution.”
🖤 Ellen Craft ‘passed’ as a white male enslaver traveling with her Black male body servant (who was her husband).
🖤 The field of gynecology and medical science owes much to 3 Black women, reminding me of Henrietta Lacks and time I spent re-reading Rebecca Skloot’s book a few months ago.
🖤 “In 1820, 1830, and 1840, 70 percent of Black slaveholders were women” because many women “were working to free their families.”
This is the history we need and should readily put in the hands of others, even the youngsters. When I think back to my grandmother and great grandmother demanding that we “get our education” I can see why it was so important. But I also see why it is NECESSARY to make sure our education is multifaceted.