In the last decade of the 1800s, lynching, mob violence, and segregation were well-entrenched responses to the American "race problem." Rising up in spirited defense, black women launched several regional organizations designed to defend and improve the rights of their race and their place within it. Yet the creed of betterment espoused by many black club women overlay sometimes-bitter commentary on black men for their failures as supporters and protectors. It also castigated lower-class "sisters" whose oft-caricatured mores cast a shadow on their own. And it had a rocky relationship with the broader American feminist movement: "Since they could not control white men, the source of most of their woes," historian Deborah Gray White says, "and since they believed that a race could rise no higher than its women, they had to begin that elevation with the women themselves." Too Heavy a Load
swings on through the maelstrom of the civil rights movement, welfare advocacy, black nationalism, and feminism to more recent rifts, such as the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearings. While doing so, it pieces together the engaging story of the backstage struggles in such early firebrand organizations as the National Association of Colored Women and the National Council of Negro Women. By including the clashes that strong personalities and different aims beget, White brings dimension to her story and provides strong illustration for her contention that "gender and race sameness [are] no guarantee of a beloved sisterhood." --Francesca Coltrera
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Meticulously researched. . . . Too Heavy a Load reads like a wonderful historical novel. -- Akilah Monifa, Emerge
Splendid . . . a broad and sweeping history that becomes an intensely personal experience for the reader. . . . An inspiring showcase of scholarship and sistership. -- Nell Irvin Painter, Raleigh News & Observer