- Paperback: 168 pages
- Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers; 1 edition (July 7, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1626563519
- ISBN-13: 978-1626563513
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 89 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Sisters Are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative of Black Women in America Paperback – July 7, 2015
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Everyone seems to have an opinion about American black women―they need to get married, change their hair, act like “ladies,” and so on. Celebrated writer Tamara Winfrey Harris writes a searing account of being a black woman in America and explains why it’s time for black women to speak for themselves.
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Winfrey Harris did a brilliant, quixotic thing, by making her conclusion (spoiler alert, #sorrynotsorry) about the strength of Black women in community supporting each other, while making that the foundation of the book. She found other women who were doing work in the various areas she was exploring, and let them tell their stories and use their own work to prove her theories. She gave them a platform that strengthened hers at the same time. This book is sobering but hopeful, academic and personal, and just a delight.
The mechanics of the book: Winfrey Harris has a confident, easy writing style and a clear way of explaining complex concepts in a way that people new to the concepts and people immersed in them can understand. She wrote exactly what she needed to say, so the book is shorter than it would have been had she padded it out into a bunch of repetition, and I really appreciated that it was all signal and no noise. It's really accessible but not simplistic or patronizing, so it's a perfect book to teach in women's studies, American studies, sociology, and African-American studies courses. I'm not sure kids below high school age would get it, but for 10th grade and up it's totally appropriate and important.
Also, as a replacement for (or supplement to) this book - for anybody who wants more historical background on this subject matter, and/or is more comfortable with academic writing - I would recommend Angela Davis' Women, Race & Class and bell hooks' Ain't I a Woman?.
The information Ms. Harris presented wasn't anything new to me however, it's what I needed to read at the moment. Black women need to be constantly reminded that we are not broken. We are not one dimensional. We may be perceived as the mule of the world, but we are fierce, fabulous, and worth a damn. Ms. Harris, thank you for contributing to the conversation in a positive light. I've recommended this book to other women who may need to "keep it real" during a turbulent time. It was a pleasure to read and I look forward to reading more of your work in the future.