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Black Women's Lives: Stories of Pain and Power Paperback – February 10, 2006

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 263 pages
  • Publisher: Nation Books (February 10, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560257903
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560257905
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.3 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,171,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

An organic farmer, a union organizer, a teenage lesbian stabbed to death in a hate crime and the president of a cosmetics company that makes hair relaxer all get their stories told in this anthology of Zook's articles for Essence magazine. As a reporter, Zook has a passion for social justice, and her best chapters focus on public health issues that disproportionately affect impoverished black women and children. She writes about a woman in Birmingham, Ala., for example, who fights companies that want to dump toxic chemicals in working-class or black areas and who started a group dedicated to raising awareness of lead poisoning in children, the major symptoms of which—hyperactivity and aggression—are precisely those of attention deficit disorder. In another chapter, Zook explores the possible causes behind the high rates of HIV/AIDS among black women in small Southern towns, among them low self-esteem, mistrust of doctors and an unwillingness to challenge men about their sexual histories. Zook (Color by Fox: The Fox Network and the Revolution in Black Television) has a weakness for clichés and a tendency to gush about how her subjects "empowered" her, both of which detract from the raw power of the stories she tells. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Ten years ago, journalist Zook chronicled the lives of black women working on catfish and poultry farms in rural Mississippi; she became engrossed in the struggle of these women and broadened her search to find compelling stories. She traveled across the U.S and collected stories of struggle with obesity and health, toxic pollution in disadvantaged communities, AIDS, cultural isolation, unions and organized labor, addiction, and violence. Among the interview subjects: a young woman from the projects who had a baby at 19 and never finished college but went on to create a center for young women's development and to win a MacArthur "genius grant"; owners of a bookstore in Washington, D.C., that specializes in books about black women; a filmmaker struggling with limited Hollywood images of black people; a prisoner, former prostitute, and drug addict sentenced for nonviolent, drug-related offenses; and a high-powered Manhattan executive of a cosmetics company. In her epilogue, Zook tells of her own struggles and those of the women in her family. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

When my mother was pregnant with me she checked out a stack of library books each week and read to me in her belly. The habit stuck. I've been reading and writing ever since. Today I'm an award-winning journalist who has been published in The Washington Post, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, The LA Weekly, Village Voice, Essence, More, Vibe, the Source, Honey, Savoy, and many others. I've also offered commentary and analysis for radio and tv networks like NPR, CNN, MSNBC, MTV, BET and TV ONE. For the past five years I have been an associate professor and director of the M.A. Journalism Program at Hofstra University in New York, where my most passionate students remind me every day why I got into this wonderful business of words and stories in the first place.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Short Young Thing on May 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed reading this book. I love that it gave mini-biographical stories of women on various different walks of life: a prisoner, a lesbian, an executive, etc. It was very a intriguing read, a good reminder that everyone, every black woman is so different yet we all experience highs, lows, pain, regardless of our different pasts, presents, and futures.
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By Oliver O. on June 27, 2014
Format: Paperback
Black women's lives: Stories of pain and power. This is a must read for a better appreciation of what black women are going through. This book is good and I would recommend it to all.
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Format: Paperback
This highly readable book looks at the real lives of a diverse group of black women. It gives you a clear and vivid sense of their achievements, struggles, and losses. It is written in very clear, direct prose with quotations and vivid descriptions of the women in their own element. She enhances her feature-story approach with researched data and information pertinent to the issue at the heart of each chapter. She keeps the focus on each black woman's life so you get a definite sense of her and what she is going through. Above all, she shows real care and concern for women's struggles.
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