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I'm Every Woman: Remixed Stories of Marriage, Motherhood, and Work Hardcover – October 25, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

AWashington Post journalist, wife and mother of three, Parker offers some sharp insights into balancing the multiple roles that engage contemporary women. Her remix blends history and memoir in "an assembly of voices and perspectives... of women... whose struggles presaged modern womanhood"—that is, middle-class black women for whom deciding not to go to work "wasn't an option at all." Money management, child-rearing, career management, cooking, religion, sexuality, having fun—all the things that women chat about among themselves get their moments. Parker's reach is broad, embracing her family, historical models (e.g., Ida B. Wells Barnett, Madame C.J. Walker) and a wide array of artifacts of popular culture (film, soap opera, rap music, magazines, etc.). Race plays a role in most of her observations; sometimes, as in the issues of skin color, hair and passing, it takes center stage. Parker's volume is best read in segments; a certain repetitiveness characterizes the remixing, and the pop culture references date quickly. Most working women will, nevertheless, find food for thought; as Parker puts it, "It's not that I believe that black women have all the answers—only that we have struggled with the questions longer and that sometimes that makes some of our tool sets more expansive." (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Parker, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated reporter with the Washington Post, intersperses historical context, her newspaper commentaries, and current observations in this sharp perspective on black womanhood. Parker grew up on the South Side of Chicago, watching the progress of generations beginning with her grandmother; she sees a widening of possibilities tinged with a history of limitations for black women. She recalls stories of black women making do and creating space for themselves, bringing glamour to the dismal and peace to the turbulent. Contrasting the struggles of black women to those of middle-class white women, Parker maintains that black women--with a longer, more complex history of balancing work and family--have broader skills for coping with demands while finding and securing joy in life. Throughout, Parker notes that whenever she is overwhelmed by the responsibilities of a journalism career, marriage, and motherhood with three children, she thinks of slave women with backbreaking dawn-to-dusk demands, and she is renewed. A heartfelt and probing look at issues of race and gender. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Amistad (October 25, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060592923
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060592929
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #515,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Michelle on November 7, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Lonnae O'Neal Parker's book 'I'm Every Woman' was talking to women just like me -- women who are working hard, raising children and not getting enough time to play, let alone play hard. I love that she ties our modern day struggles to those of the hard-working black women before us. Not only did her stories of bartering with her husband resonate with me, but I learned something about the women I come from. It's nice to get that in a book that is largely about an author's life. So many authors just feed us their opinion without backing it up in history or fact, or anything except 'this is how I feel.' Bravo Lonnae O'Neal Parker. I know what 'every woman' in my life is getting for Christmas! Great read!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kelley C. on May 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Hello Lonnae,

Thank you again for signing my copy of "I'm Every Woman" at the Professional Business Women of California conference at the Moscone center. I really enjoyed your perspective on motherhood and the ever-elusive perfect mother load balance. When you signed my copy, I promised to write to you if I enjoyed the book. So here's my attempt to keep that promise.

I love the book.

From the first page I have been glued to every beautiful sentence. This book is art. Your story is my story. (Down to my Dona Rose who keeps up with my baseboards and babies.) Thank you for telling it in a format more poetic, musical and thoughtful than I ever knew possible. As an attorney, mommy and wife of a very in love husband I appreciate your candor and wit applied to our shared history and future. Thank you for taking the time to research and recite your findings and insights in the proper context. It brings a real depth to the work.

As I have read the book I have laughed, nodded in agreement, said "amen" and even welled up. I too see my ancestors smirk and raise a brow at what I often shamelessly feel is my hard life; To wit: my commute (to a great job), my children (healthy, robust and off the charts intellectually), and of course my husband (who loves to love me). Poor me. Right. Thanks for helping me keep it real.

As the direct descendent of a lovely tall black woman who was "kept" by a white man in the deep south of the early 1900's, I enjoyed your gift of a new understanding of Great Grandma's real power over her situation. She was not a victim of circumstance, but rather a well supplied provider of a good life for 6 chillen' who could pass if they wanted to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By AC Rice on March 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Drawing on historical figures that are well-known and little known, plus women of her own family, O'Neal Parker has written a wonderful book that brings me from where we were to where I am now as a black woman in America. Working and married, (although not with children), I found each chapter had a lesson to teach and offered comfort in knowing I am not alone.

O'Neal Parker's thoughtful research in bringing us black women of history is especially welcome.

Excellent work that I will share with my friends, both black and not.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mechelle on January 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I thoroughly enjoyed this book because it speaks directly to my generation. Often, books that are about mothers, mommy-wars or the like are written by older women or by authors I have absolutely no connection to other than the fact we have children. I could relate to this book on so many levels and her historical references, specifically from the eighties, are right up my alley. This book is definitely on my gift giving list!
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