Black Women's Lives: Stories of Power and Pain

Overview

Kristal Brent Zook explores the lives of contemporary African America women from all walks of life. Based on her travels across America and years of interviewing and building relationships with women from a wide variety of socio-economic backgrounds, she offers vivid archetypal portraits of a school principal in Georgia, a filmmaker in Los Angeles, a factory worker in Mississippi, a corporate executive in New York City, a prisoner in Seattle, and an organic farmer in Vermont, among others. Through these ...

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Overview

Kristal Brent Zook explores the lives of contemporary African America women from all walks of life. Based on her travels across America and years of interviewing and building relationships with women from a wide variety of socio-economic backgrounds, she offers vivid archetypal portraits of a school principal in Georgia, a filmmaker in Los Angeles, a factory worker in Mississippi, a corporate executive in New York City, a prisoner in Seattle, and an organic farmer in Vermont, among others. Through these portraits, Black Women's Lives explores common overlapping themes while highlighting the shared dreams, hopes, and disappointments of ordinary women. This book also reveals the many challenges and inequalities that black women still face, and how far this nation has yet to travel if it is to live up to its promise to create an equal and just society for all citizens.

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Editorial Reviews

Davis Thulani
In the absence of the large social movements that helped at least one generation of Americans to find themselves, uplift now seems to come more through individual rebirth. Zook's book has a place among others in this school, such as works by Haki Madhubhuti and Kevin Powell on African American men. They are asking us to confront the tragic effects and damage being suffered in black communities, even if their causes lie outside.
— The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
An organic farmer, a union organizer, a teenage lesbian stabbed to death in a hate crime and the president of a cosmetics company that makes hair relaxer all get their stories told in this anthology of Zook's articles for Essence magazine. As a reporter, Zook has a passion for social justice, and her best chapters focus on public health issues that disproportionately affect impoverished black women and children. She writes about a woman in Birmingham, Ala., for example, who fights companies that want to dump toxic chemicals in working-class or black areas and who started a group dedicated to raising awareness of lead poisoning in children, the major symptoms of which-hyperactivity and aggression-are precisely those of attention deficit disorder. In another chapter, Zook explores the possible causes behind the high rates of HIV/AIDS among black women in small Southern towns, among them low self-esteem, mistrust of doctors and an unwillingness to challenge men about their sexual histories. Zook (Color by Fox: The Fox Network and the Revolution in Black Television) has a weakness for clich s and a tendency to gush about how her subjects "empowered" her, both of which detract from the raw power of the stories she tells. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560257905
  • Publisher: Nation Books
  • Publication date: 2/9/2006
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 941,817
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Kristal Bent Zook is a freelance journalist who lives in New York City.
 

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Table of Contents

1 Artist : Woodland Hills, California 2
2 Lover : Newark, New Jersey 30
3 Activist : Quincy, Florida 50
4 Citizen : Birmingham, Alabama 80
5 Teacher : Lithonia, Georgia 102
6 Farmer : Bakersfield, Vermont 126
7 Worker : Indianola, Mississippi 158
8 Executive : New York, New York 182
9 Sister : Los Angeles, California 210
10 Prisoner : Seattle, Washington 234
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