Ladies' Pages: African American Women's Magazines and the Culture That Made Them

Ladies' Pages: African American Women's Magazines and the Culture That Made Them

by Noliwe M. Rooks
     
 

ISBN-10: 0813534259

ISBN-13: 9780813534251

Pub. Date: 06/28/2004

Publisher: Rutgers University Press

"This book is an original and important contribution to a number of fields, including women's studies, American studies, and American history. Clear, well-written, and free of jargon, Ladies' Pages should find a broad and diverse readership."-Farah Jasmine Griffin, director, Institute for Research in African American Studies, Columbia University

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Overview

"This book is an original and important contribution to a number of fields, including women's studies, American studies, and American history. Clear, well-written, and free of jargon, Ladies' Pages should find a broad and diverse readership."-Farah Jasmine Griffin, director, Institute for Research in African American Studies, Columbia University

Beginning in the late nineteenth century, mainstream magazines established ideal images of white female culture, while comparable African American periodicals were cast among the shadows. In Ladies Pages, Noliwe Rooks sheds light on the most influential African American women's magazines and their little-known success in shaping the lives of black women. Focusing on three early African American publications, Ringwood's Afro American Journal of Fashion, Half-Century Magazine for the Colored Homemaker, and Tan Confessions, as well as two contemporary magazines, Essence and O, the Oprah Magazine, Rooks reveals their contributions to the development of African American culture over the past century and the ways in which they in turn reflect important historical changes in the black community.

Ladies' Pages shows that what African American women wore, bought, consumed, read, cooked, and did at home with their families were all fair game, and the early magazines offered copious amounts of advice about what such choices could and did mean. At the same time, these periodicals helped African American women to find work and to develop a strong communications network. Rooks reveals in detail how these publications contributed to the concepts of black sexual identity, rape, migration, urbanization, fashion, domesticity, consumerism, and education.Her book is essential reading for everyone interested in the history and culture of African Americans.

Noliwe M. Rooks is the associate director of African American Studies at Princeton University and the author of Hair Raising: Beauty, Culture, and African American Women. She was the associate editor for African American Artists in Paris, 1920-1975.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813534251
Publisher:
Rutgers University Press
Publication date:
06/28/2004
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
1,365,325
Product dimensions:
5.52(w) x 8.54(h) x 0.49(d)

Table of Contents

1Scattered pages : magazines, sex, and the culture of migration1
The African American press in historical context6
Shrouded in sex : writing back to history10
The cult of representation : "new Negro" ladies16
The new woman : consumerism and white women's magazines19
The migration journals21
2Refashioning rape : Ringwood's Afro-African journal of fashion25
The magazine28
Julia Ringwood Costen : a life in context32
Situating silence : race, rape, and memory36
Black bodies in the key of white : the accident of color39
Accounting for the past44
3To make a lady black and bid-her sing : clothes, class, and color47
Representing fashion, fashioning representation49
Showing and proving that they were ladies51
Advertising ladyhood56
White fashion, black readers60
Fashioning race : the twentieth century63
4"Colored faces looking out of fashion plates, well!" : twentieth-century fashion, migration, and urbanization65
Half-century magazine68
The migration of fashion74
The burden of dress78
What they are wearing84
The status of fashion87
5No place like home : domesticity, domestic work, and consumerism89
Home and turn-of-the-century American culture in black and white91
Gender, generation, and domestic work101
From character to consumption108
6Urban confessions and tan fantasies : the commodification of marriage and sexual desire in African American magazine fiction113
Marriage, urban space, and turn-of-the-century writing115
Tan confessions120
Consuming fantasies in black and tan124
Ebony dreams : buying citizenship, selling race131
Marketing matrimony, selling consumption134
7But is it black and female? : Essence, O, and American magazine publishing140
Essence magazine142
O, the Oprah magazine148

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