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Too Heavy a Load: Black Women in Defense of Themselves, 1894-1994 Paperback – November 17, 1999

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Too Heavy a Load: Black Women in Defense of Themselves, 1894-1994 + At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance--A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (November 17, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039331992X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393319927
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #622,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By zoe on January 13, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really appreciated the interest Deborah White has taken in this time period and in these people. The book is intended for those that are truly interested in the development of the role NACW in a hundred year span. The book could be used more specifically for those studying the liberation of women or African Americans in this time period. White is a teacher by profession and that comes though in the book. It was written more to educate, not to entertain.
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0 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Veronica on February 16, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Disappointed at the misleading title of "collectible". This was advertised as a first edition when in reality it is a first edition of the 1991 print which is by no means a COLLECTIBLE. Although the book is in great condition it was supposed to be a gift for someone and I am very disappointed that it is a book that I could have just purchased at a book store locally.
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