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A Shining Thread of Hope Paperback – January 5, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This history of the experience of black women opens with an account of the life of Lucy Terry, who was brought as a slave to Deerfield, Massachusetts, when she was a child in about 1735. At 16, Terry wrote a poem, "Bars Fight," the first work of literature by a black American. Years later, married and free, Terry argued for the admission of her son to Williams College and, when a white man tried to take her family's land, she took the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Terry's story is typical of those in A Shining Thread of Hope, which brings together centuries of achievement by black women. As coauthors Darlene Clark Hine and Kathleen Thompson put it, "The extraordinary achievements of black women in the 19th and 20th centuries did not grow out of degradation but out of a legacy of courage, resourcefulness, initiative, and dignity that goes back to 1619." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In an extraordinary narrative personalized for easy reading, Hine (Michigan State Univ.), perhaps the leading historian of U.S. black women, and Thompson, editor-in-chief of Facts on File's Encyclopedia of Black Women (LJ 4/15/97), convey the plight and pluck of African American women from their arrival at Jamestown, VA, in 1619 to what the authors describe as a new era at the dawn of the year 2000. Celebrating black women's historical strength, Hine and Thompson accentuate resistance and survival in their 12 chapters. They focus on flesh-and-blood women whose stories of persistence, protest, and progress flow together with famous and unfamiliar names sharing an unbreakable thread spun by faithful and industrious self-reliance. Without peer as a single-volume history of being black and female in America, this book is an inviting opening to the fast-growing scholarship on African American women to which Hine has so richly contributed. Highly recommended for collections on blacks, women, or U.S. history.
-ABrenda M. Brock, Univ. at Buffalo, NY, & Thomas J. Davis, Arizona State Univ., Tempe
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (January 5, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767901118
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767901116
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #635,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 8, 1998
Format: Hardcover
It is close to impossible to reconstruct a history of African Americans. Indeed, part of our common American heritage is the destruction and unrecorded depiction of non-European and non-male histories. The authors have dilligently researched their stories and they are to be congratulated for their tenacity. However, the book fails to elicit "hope" from the reader. The writing is dry and unimaginative. With such a lively history, it is a shame that it reads like a dead history. The most egregious flaw in the book, however, is not found in its writing style but rather in how the authors attempt to boost the qualities of the women portrayed in the book by drawing comparisons between the accomplishment of these women and the accomplishments of men and white women. This is a completely unnecessary element. The accomplishments of these African American women stand on their own. The purpose of the book is largely diminished because the authors have touted "whiteness" or "maleness" as standards. "Whiteness" and "maleness" are not standards by my measure and should not be used as one, particularly in a book about black women. I would hope that the authors eliminate their references and comparisons to men and white women in future editions so that the history of these women can be properly relayed to future generations.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 11, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This riveting narrative, a kind of polyphonic chorus giving voice to American black women, adds an important chapter in the ongoing project of understanding our nation's history. Covering a span of almost 400 years, the work moves beyond stereotypes, beyond idealization, to recognize the richness of the stories they tell. With superbly crafted prose, the authors document difficulties and challenges along with achievements and triumphs as they interpret the profound complexities of gender, race and class in the lives of African American women.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 13, 1998
Format: Hardcover
A Shining Thread of Hope: The History of Black Women in America is a book for the country. This book is not just a history written on a specific race and gender, but it offers invaluable insights on the lives of a group of people who simply did not give up hope. A Shining Thread of Hope is a book seems to be in a class by itself. It's both academic and non-academic. It proves to be a wonderfully written narrative that any age, class, gender or race can learn from and enjoy. I applaud the authors for their collaborating efforts to bring to life the stories of Black women, who seem to be forgotten. I would encourage all people to read this book, for it will provide them with food for the mind and soul. A Shining Thread of Hope leaves one's heart full of warmth and love for all humanity. It encourages us to fight for what is right and demand respect of each other as human beings. (Marshanda Smith)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cristina E. Martinez on February 23, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is very good and well written book, everyone should read especially college students or history majors. Book was shipped on time accurately, very decent price, and in great condition. Thank you.
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Format: Hardcover
A Shining Thread of Hope, a narrative history of black women in the United States from the early 1600s to the present, is must reading for anyone interested in people, peoples, or just plain learning. The authors, Darlene Clark Hine and Kathleen Thompson, long-time authorities in the field, are artists as well as historians, having chosen to lead us through this history with pictures and voices of the participants. The authors get the reader totally engaged from the first paragraph and never let her (or him) go. And throughout the chapters--from the first fears of a young African woman dragged from her village to become one of the first slaves in Jamestown in 1619, to the degradation of slavery, to the ups and downs of emancipation, reconstruction, civil rights and struggles ever-present in black society--run the strong threads of dedication to community, inner strength and, above all, belief in self.

One is left with the feelings of the horror and horridness of slavery in this country, coupled with a tremedous admiration for the strength not only of the slave women but also for the community which was determined to help them and their descendents to a better life.

A Shining Thread of Hope is history told as history should be told: riveting, instructive, and personal.
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By A Customer on February 28, 1998
Format: Hardcover
The history of the struggles, frustrations, and achievements of black women is depicted in an easy-flowing narrative fashion. The shortcomings and lack of freedom of opportunity for black women (and white women to a lesser degree) to achieve cultural and economic recognition and success on an equal level with men in a white male-dominated society are realistically described. I acquired a deeper appreciation of the emotional, inner-soul frustrations and struggles, especially of the black women, and the difficulties encountered in maintaining even the most basic family life. In spite of all this, we see black women taking their rightful place in society and accomplishing their goals. I enjoyed the book and learned something new. Sabina M. Nowak
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Format: Hardcover
I have read a number of books about Black Women and this one is in a different league from the others. It if, as far as I know, the FIRST book to tell the narrative history of African American women in the United States and it tells it in a riviting fashing "warts and all." I had planned on spending several days working my way through a "history" book and stayed up till 4:00 in the morning to finish it in a single sitting. I can without qualification say that I think anyone who cares about American history should read this volume.
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