Goodreads Review: A Black Women’s History of the United States by Daina Ramey Berry, Kali Nicole Gross

Four star review, originally posted here on October 15, 2021.

Ack, I just realized that I forgot to review this right after reading it, and now I can’t remember all the stuff I wanted to say! For the most part, my review matches most of the other reviews I’ve read. This books really picks up more and more as we get closer and closer to modern history and, therefore, have better records of actual human beings. The early chapters are ok, but just suepr vague. This isn’t the book’s fault or the authors’ faults; it is history’s fault. Historically the eladers and documenters of American and colonial society did not value black women in the way that it valued white men, so most of our recorded history centers around white men. This isn’t news to anybody. But it does mean that source materials regarding black women is severely lacking in early history. The author’s acknowledge this right off the bat. But that doesn’t mean that those chapters are just as interesting to read as later chapters when we get to learn about our subject matter with much more detail, and with much more focus on individual women. There was sooooo much to learn once we hit these later chapters. I had never heard of some of these people and organizations, and they certainly were not covered in my history classes back in school. This is absolutely worth a read by absolutely everybody who cares about trying to get a complete picture when considering history (which SHOULD be everybody, but… you know.)
I’m trying to remember the reason why I didn’t give this 5 stars, and if I remember correctly, it’s because I thought it was poorly written. I can’t remember the exact stuff that bothered be, but I think it was something along the lines of an overuse of the word “however” or “therefore” or something like that. I found it distracting and disappointing. But otherwise, this is good stuff! Go read it!


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