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If It Wasn't for the Women...: Black Women's Experience and Womanist Culture in Church and Community Paperback – November, 2000

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 253 pages
  • Publisher: Orbis Books (November 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570753431
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570753435
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,042,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Steven H Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on March 15, 2016
Format: Paperback
Cheryl Townsend Gilkes (pronounced “Jillks”) is Professor of Sociology and African-American Studies at Colby College, as well as an ordained minister of the Union Baptist Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She has also coedited If I Do What Spirit Says Do: Black Women, Vocation, and Community Survival. [The title of this book, incidentally, comes from the folk saying, “If it wasn’t for the women, you wouldn’t have a church!”]

She wrote in the Introduction to this 2001 book, “This book contains essays that place black women’s agency, centrality, importance, and indispensability to their churches and communities in the foreground. The various essays reveal aspects of black women’s experiences in church and community with an eye toward explaining and interpreting more fully precisely what it is that women do within and for their communities. Feminist analysis necessarily stresses the discrimination against and oppression of women. When that analysis is turned toward black women, the focus is on the double or triple jeopardy that confronts black women. White women have trouble seeing black women as agents of culture and community; black women themselves, knowing that their efficacy contradicts the dominant culture’s expectations of women, often refuse to acknowledge openly their own ability to make a difference.” (Pg. 4-5)

She continues, “The essays that follow were selected from published and unpublished papers that focused on the roles of women in their churches and communities, the implications of those roles for African-American culture, particularly its Afro-Christian dimensions, and the tensions and stereotypes that shape societal responses to these roles.
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An excellent discussion about the roles played by African American women community activists and church women. This topic about their leadership across the centuries merits critical examination and acknowledgement. Far too often women have not been acknowledged as leaders of men. The descriptions of the women's leadership and activist roles help to dismiss the myth of homogeneity among African American women.
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Format: Paperback
Cheryl Townsend Gilkes (pronounced “Jillks”) is Professor of Sociology and African-American Studies at Colby College, as well as an ordained minister of the Union Baptist Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She has also coedited If I Do What Spirit Says Do: Black Women, Vocation, and Community Survival. [The title of this book, incidentally, comes from the folk saying, “If it wasn’t for the women, you wouldn’t have a church!”]

She wrote in the Introduction to this 2001 book, “This book contains essays that place black women’s agency, centrality, importance, and indispensability to their churches and communities in the foreground. The various essays reveal aspects of black women’s experiences in church and community with an eye toward explaining and interpreting more fully precisely what it is that women do within and for their communities. Feminist analysis necessarily stresses the discrimination against and oppression of women. When that analysis is turned toward black women, the focus is on the double or triple jeopardy that confronts black women. White women have trouble seeing black women as agents of culture and community; black women themselves, knowing that their efficacy contradicts the dominant culture’s expectations of women, often refuse to acknowledge openly their own ability to make a difference.” (Pg. 4-5)

She continues, “The essays that follow were selected from published and unpublished papers that focused on the roles of women in their churches and communities, the implications of those roles for African-American culture, particularly its Afro-Christian dimensions, and the tensions and stereotypes that shape societal responses to these roles.
Read more ›
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Excellent book. It really tells the story of the Black Woman's stand in the church and her community. Nannie Burrough, in the chapter, Sisters Who Can Lift A Community, emphasizes the fact that in order to lead, Women must read and stay informed. The blind cannot lead the blind.
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Deja Vu all over again. Black Lives Matter. Let's put an end the violence and insanity.
No matter how different we are from another human being were 99.8% the same.
That which unites us is greater than that which divides us.
Bud McAllister
Partners in Healthy Communities
PO Box 1427 NL, Ct 06320
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