"We must have a glorified womanhood that can look any man in the face-white, red, yellow, brown, or black-and tell of the nobility of character within black womanhood."
-Nannie Helen Burroughs
I love history! I love learning about new perspectives and examining how we got where we are today. I love learning about the cultural history of different people. One of my favorite genres to read is historical fiction. I love history! Having clarified my position on history I must acknowledge that it can often be told from a one sided perspective, leaving out whole important stories and contributions of diverse cultures and people. Black lives and more specifically those of Black women are not deemed to important enough or fall into the category of "we can't cover everything".
"The most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman." -Malcolm X
A history book representing the strength and yes "nobility" of black women's stories is necessary, important work. Reviewing this history we learn about free Black women who came to this land as explorers, Isabel Olvera; we have been educators, Nannie Helen Burroughs, and so much more. Black women's stories told in this book that start on American soil and before slavery. Black women have created space in American history and a space for the telling of that history must be created. The disrespect comes in not having a full well rounded picture of a shared history of contributions to this country. Black women have been on the frontlines of change before we were a country, and continue to create change.
A Black Women's History of the United States is part of a series of ReVisioning History series that includes An African American and Latinx History of the United States, A Queer History of the United States, A Disability History of the United States, and An Indigenous People's History of the United States. A variety of stories throughout the history of this country that reflect the important contributions and diversity of persons who make up this country.
The authors of this entry in the series, Dr. Daina Ramey Berry and Dr. Kali Nicole Gross, are both history professors at the University of Texas and Rutgers University respectively. They've done the work and compiled stories both heartbreaking and of strength. The book is comprehensive and an easy read,. I wanted to dig deeper and learned about women I had not heard of before. It also comes with pictures showcasing women throughout the history of the US. It was empowering to learn about so much more.
I recommend this, and other books like this, as supplement to what is and has been taught in schools. Give yourself an opportunity to learn a broader picture of this country, and possibly see yourself in the process.
A Black Women's History of the United States
Daina Ramey Berry and Kali Nicole Gross, authors
Boston: Beacon Press,  Formats: eBook
"A Black Women's History of the United States is a critical survey of black women's complicated legacy in America, as it takes into account their exploitation and victimization as well as their undeniable and substantial contributions to the country since its inception"