In Praise of Black Women: Ancient African Queens

Overview

    In Praise of Black Women is a magnificent tribute to women in Africa and the African diaspora from the ancient past to the present. Lavishly illustrated, with text written and selected by the celebrated Guadeloupian novelist Simone Schwarz-Bart, this four-volume series celebrates remarkable women who distinguished themselves in their time and shaped the course of culture and history.
    Volume 1: Ancient African Queens weaves together...

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Overview

    In Praise of Black Women is a magnificent tribute to women in Africa and the African diaspora from the ancient past to the present. Lavishly illustrated, with text written and selected by the celebrated Guadeloupian novelist Simone Schwarz-Bart, this four-volume series celebrates remarkable women who distinguished themselves in their time and shaped the course of culture and history.
    Volume 1: Ancient African Queens weaves together oral tradition, folk legends and stories, songs and poems, historical accounts, and travelers’ tales from Egypt to southern Africa, from prehistory to the nineteenth century. These women rulers, warriors, and heroines include Amanirenas, the queen of Kush who battled Roman armies and defeated them at Aswan; Daurama, mother of the seven Hausa kingdoms; Amina Kulibali, founder of the Gabu dynasty in Senegal; Ana de Sousa Nzinga, who resisted the Portuguese conquest of Angola; Beatrice Kimpa Vita, a Kongo prophet burned at the stake by Christian missionaries; Nanda, mother of the famous warrior-king Shaka Zulu; and many others.
    These extraordinary women's stories, narrated in the style of African oral tradition, are absorbing, informative, and accessible. The abundant illustrations, many of them rare archival images, depict the diversity among Black women and make this volume a unique treasure for every art lover, every school, and every family.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Novelists Simone Schwarz-Bart (Between Two Worlds; The Bridge of Beyond) and Andr Schwarz-Bart (The Last of the Just) present volume one of a four-part work that will be published over the next three years entitled In Praise of Black Women: Ancient African Queens, translated from the French by Rose-Myriam R jouis and Val Vinokurov and featuring a foreword by Howard Dodson, director of New York's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. A blend of oral tradition, historical accounts and 600 vivid illustrations creatively arranged and bordered by informative sidebars, this enchanting work transports the reader back in time and gives a voice to the little-known black women of the past, like Yennenga, Mother of the Mossi People. Subsequent volumes will cover slavery in the Americas and the Caribbean, modern African women and modern women of the diaspora. ( Mar. 8) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Originally published in French (Belgium: Editions Consulaires, 1988. six vols.), this is the first of a planned four-volume English-language edition that pays tribute to women in Africa and the African diaspora from ancient times to the present. Volume 1 features 28 queens throughout Africa from prehistory to the 19th century. Guadeloupean novelist Schwarz-Bart (Between Two Worlds) has created a visually stunning and well-constructed book. Every page contains high-quality color reproductions, including many full- and double-page spreads, of rarely seen art works and images of African history and culture. The text consists of brief main entries, poetically written by Schwarz-Bart, interspersed with folktales, proverbs, songs, poems, and historical accounts selected by the author. The main entries are creative in tone and format rather than offering the academic and analytical narrative of historical writings. A chronological time line of when these women warriors, spiritual leaders, and politicians thrived would have been a wonderful complement to the stories and images. Recommended for black studies and women's studies collections. Sherri L. Barnes, Univ. of California Lib., Santa Barbara Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-A look at queens and military heroines from all regions of Africa. Among those included are Mekeda, Heleni, and Mentowab of Ethiopia; Daurama of the Hausa kingdoms; Ahmose-Nofretari, Hatshepsut, and Tiye of Egypt; Amina Kulibali and N'Date Yalla of Senegal; Nandi, mother of Southern Africa's Shaka Zulu; Ana de Sousa Nzinga of Angola; Yennenga, who reigned near modern-day Ghana; and Beatrice Kimpa Vita of the Congo. The many colorful reproductions of paintings, drawings, and photographs supplement the text. Schwarz-Bart combines folklore with well-documented historical facts to add to an understanding of these women and the cultural contexts in which they lived. There is no index, but the table of contents is clear, and most chapters are dedicated to one queen. This book will be in demand particularly during the months devoted to Black History and Women's History. An invaluable and fascinating resource.-Joyce Fay Fletcher, Rippon Middle School, Prince William County, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Booknews
Volume 1 of a four-volume set that celebrates remarkable women in Africa and the African diaspora from the ancient past to the present<-->warriers, rulers, prophets, heroines, mothers, and many others. The text, written by Guadeloupean novelist Schwarz-Barz, weaves together oral tradition, folk legends and stories, songs, and poems, historical accounts, and travelers' tales from Egypt to southern Africa from prehistory to the 19th century. Generously and beautifully illustrated in color, including hundreds of rare archival photographs. Oversize: 9.5x12<">. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780299172503
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2001
  • Series: In Praise of Black Women Series
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 433
  • Sales rank: 952,192
  • Age range: 14 - 18 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 12.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Simone Schwarz-Bart is the author of six novels and a play, which have been translated and published in many languages; Between Two Worlds and The Bridge of Beyond have been published in English. André Schwarz-Bart is the author of three novels, including Le Dernier des justes (The Last of the Just), which was awarded the 1959 Prix Goncourt and has been translated into twenty languages. Rose-Myriam Rejouis and Val Vinokurov have previously translated two works by French novelist Patrick Chamoiseau into English: Solibo Magnificent and Texaco. They translated In Praise of Black Women with Stephanie Daval. Howard Dodson is director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgments: The Eye Of Love
Black Eve 2
Black Women Ten Thousand Years Ago 16
Ahmose Nofretari 28
Hatshepsut 42
Tiye 52
The Candaces 62
Makeda 74
Daurama 84
Yennenga 100
Sogolon Konte 118
Amina Kulibali 130
Amina of Zaria 148
Heleni 162
Ana de Sousa Nzinga 174
Mentowah 188
Beatrice Kimpa Vita 202
Queen Poku 220
Sogane Toure 230
The Story of Nandi 242
Tata Ajeche 258
Modjadji I 270
Ranavalona I 284
N'Date Yalla 296
Nongqawuse 308
Sarraounia 320
The Story of Naga 336
Manta Tisi 350
Taitu Bethel 362
Ranavalona III 378
Mamochisane 394
Principal Works Consulted 405
Sources of Texts Cited 412
List of Illustrations 419
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2001

    very beautiful & well researched book-a must buy!!!!!!

    this book is a must read for any black women-it contains lots of art work, folklore, historical background, & proverbs. this book brings out black women's role in history & leadership into full light showing that we were not passive in the background as time went by. the book covers the history & culture of every african nation & civilization.

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