"Too Heavy a Load explores this century's rich history of black women defending, defining, and explaining themselves. Although most prominently a history of the century-long struggle against racism and male chauvinism, it also brings to light and celebrates twentieth-century African American women's unlauded support for women's rights, civil rights, and civil liberties. Too Heavy a Load also takes us beyond the reach of history in its moving and fascinating illumination of black women's painful struggle to hold their racial and gender identities intact while feeling the inexorable pull of the agendas of white women and black men. Finally, it tells the larger and lamentable story of how Americans began this century measuring racial progress by the status of black women, but gradually came to focus on the status of black men - the masculinization of America's racial consciousness."--BOOK JACKET.
Illustrations -- Acknowledgments -- Introduction: Divided against myself -- First step in nation-making -- Dilemmas of nation-making -- Their own best argument -- New era -- Rethinking place -- Sacrifices of unity -- Making a way out of no way -- Past and future meet -- Notes -- Index
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