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When and Where I Enter: The Impact of Black Women on Race and Sex in America

4.9 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0688146504
ISBN-10: 0688146503
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“The best interpretation of black women and race and sex that we have” (Women's Review of Books)

“The first historical study of the relationship in America between racism and sex.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“A triumphant study.” (Publishers Weekly)

About the Author

Paula J. Giddings is the Elizabeth A. Woodson 1922 Professor in Afro-American Studies at Smith College and the author of When and Where I Enter and In Search of Sisterhood.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: W. Morrow (1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688146503
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688146504
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is the book for you if you are interested in history and especially the history of Black Women in America. The author factually grabs hold of you and guides you through the lifes of black women in this country. Their beliefs, struggles and the way they have affected everything from end of slavery to women's and civil rights movements, and from family and society dynamics to everyday racism. You will read about the more widely known Fannie Lou Hamer's persistent work during the 60's civil rights movement to the relatively unknown Ida Wells and her fight to stop lynchings around the country a century ago. This is a book that will touch you as a woman and as a human being.
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Format: Paperback
I first read this masterpiece by Paula Giddings in my second year of undergraduate studies at SUNY Stony Brook, and thus began my scholastic love affair with Ms. Giddings. The book is as educationally informative as it is necessary for the mental liberation of Black people, in particular Black women. The book essentially encapsulates the untold history of not only Black women's' history, but more importantly how their history profoundly shaped, influenced, and effected American history, culture, and politics for Black people as a whole and women in general. Indeed this is a treasure of a volume; unquestioningly required reading for anyone who thinks they're knowledgeable about Black women's' history, has an interest in general history, and wants to expand their academic knowledge of the subject matter.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Paula Giddings (born 1947) is a writer and historian, as well as professor of African-American Studies at Smith College. She has also written Ida: A Sword Among Lions: Ida B. Wells and the Campaign Against Lynching, In Search of Sisterhood: Delta Sigma Theta and the Challenge of the Black Sorority Movement, and Burning All Illusions: Writings from The Nation on Race (Nation Books).

She states in the Preface to this 1984 book, "When and Where I Enter attempts to strike a balance between the subjective and the objective. Although it is the product of extensive research, it is not without a point of view or a sense of mission. A mission to tell a story largely untold. For despite the range and significance of our history, we have been perceived as token women in Black texts and as token Blacks in feminist ones... So I set out to write a narrative history of Black women, tracing their concerns---and what they did about them---from the seventeenth century to the contemporary period. It is thematic in approach, using a broad canvas to illustrate the nature and meaning of the Black woman's experience."

Here are some quotations from the book:

"It seems ironic that White women abolitionists would discriminate against Black women. For Whites, though, abolitionist activism was primarily a means of releasing their suppressed political energies---energies which they directed toward the goal not of Black liberation, but of their own." (Ch.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This 21 year old book is awesome. I'd already read Giddings' "Sword Among Lions," her biography on Ida B Wells. That book made me curious about the Black Women's Club Movement that began to develope maybe 40 to 50 years after slavery among middle class black women. I was amazed to figure out that black women and black men of that time (late 1800s to 1920s) were so much closer to feminist equality in their approach to life than we are now.

It seems to me that slavery and the poverty immediately following slavery forced black men and black women to work as a team toward advancement without hard divisions in gender roles.

There was gender bias in the black community, don't get me wrong, but the black women of the time had fresh memory of slavery in their own heads from experience or from the oral history of their mothers to keep them from accepting or expecting their men to treat them like second class citizens - very much unlike white women. And the black women had to work to support the family just like the black men did.

Black women of the late 1800s and 1920s created their own clubs and political organizations and led the Anti-lynching fight. Ida B Wells did some of the first sociological studies in this country ON lynching. She traveled outside this country to where the primary cotton buyers were, England, and got anti-lynching resolutions passed there. As a result, whites in Memphis --a location that was a primary cotton producer of the world-- were shamed into stopping lynching flat -- no lynching at all for 20 years strait after Ida B Wells activism. And lynching was reduced across the country. The NAACP ( Ida B Wells one of the founders) copied her methods and used the anti-lynching issue to establish itself.
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Format: Paperback
Giddings makes history read like a novel. This book is worth its weight in crude oil for the analysis of the U.S. women's suffrage movement and its deal with the white supremacy devil alone. An excellent introduction to African American history for those not yet well-versed in the topic. Great for undergrads and grad students and non-academic readers alike.
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