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Invisible Families: Gay Identities, Relationships, and Motherhood among Black Women Paperback – October 17, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


“Arguably the most groundbreaking work on LGBT parenting published in recent years.”
(Mombian 2011-10-27)

“[Invisible Families] provides deep insight into the lives and experiences of black lesbians.”
(American Journal Of Sociology 2012-08-12)

“Social sciences researchers will cite the construction, development, and conclusions from Moore’s study for years to come.”
(Rachel Wexelbaum Lambda Literary 2012-05-13)

“Necessary reading for scholars and students interested in family studies, LGBT studies, and race-class-gender studies.”
(Assoc For Jewish Stds Review / Ajs Review 2012-10-09)

“Invisible Families represents sociological research at its finest. . . . Well written and theoretically sophisticated. . . . This is clearly a groundbreaking book.
(Anne R. Roschelle State University of New York at New Paltz Gender & Society 2012-12-01)

From the Inside Flap

"Mignon Moore’s title says it all: Invisible Families. Scholarship on lesbian and gay issues has been slow to recognize the importance of children and family among those in same-sex relationships and has paid scant attention to racial minorities; nor have students of African American life given much attention to Black lesbians and gay men. We are left with the unfortunate impression, to paraphrase the authors of But Some of Us Are Brave, that all the lesbians and gays are White and all the Blacks are heterosexual. This book stands as a significant corrective to these multiple myopias, offering a nuanced account of the kinds of pressures Black women raising children with female partners encounter, and revealing the creativity and resilience they bring to the struggle." --Ellen Lewin, University of Iowa, author of Gay Fatherhood: Narratives of Family and Citizenship in America.

Invisible Families shakes up longstanding theoretical conceptualizations of racial identity, family formation, and motherhood, contesting basic assumptions about black families. Tightly conceptualized and highly engaging.” – Kerry Ann Rockquemore, author of Raising Biracial Children

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 318 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (October 17, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520269527
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520269521
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #690,936 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mignon R. Moore, Ph.D. is a sociologist at the University of California, Los Angeles. She hails from New York, where she conducted the research for her first book. She enjoys reading, running outside, shopping, listening to gospel music and walking her two dogs. She and her partner Elaine Harley were married in New York City in March 2012. Together they host "Chocolate & Wine Upscale Events for Women," a monthly social gathering for women in Southern California.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jeffery Mingo on April 9, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Black lesbians are triple minorities and they may face things that white lesbians, Black gay men, or straight people of any race may not. In this study, the author posits that most studies of lesbian families focus on middle-class white lesbians and posits that maybe families of color may be different. Thus, she contrasts the subject families to straight couple-headed families and white lesbian-headed ones.
This book has a certain Afrocentricity that I like. For the most part, the lesbians here are Black women who love Black women and who intensely want their Black children to be active members in the Black community. There's no "post-racial" or "non-racial" nothing here. In fact, while the women here may question sexual orientation labels, they are resolute that they are Black and they are women. The thing is: the women studied here are New Yorkers. NYC has enough Black gay men and lesbians that they can afford to stick with their own. Black gay people who live in places where they may see no other face like their own in gay social circles might not relate to this.
I can almost put identity issues to the side to bring up one important feature of this book. THIS WAS A WEEEEELLL-FUNDED STUDY!!!! Plenty of studies of gay people are catch-as-catch-can. They use snowball techniques. The samples are never more than 20 or so. This interviewer spoke with about 60 subjects. She teaches on the West Coast, but has the funds to do work on the East Coast. She had graduate students assisting her, etc. Rarely do you see a study of gay people, maybe especially gay women, with this much financial backing for it! But please remember this is an academic book. I could not just hand this to lesbian everyday readers.
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