Jezebel's sexual lasciviousness, Mammy's devotion, and Sapphire's outspoken anger - these are among the most persistent stereotypes that black women encounter in contemporary American life. Hurtful and dishonest, such representations force African American women to navigate a virtual crooked room that shames them and shapes their experiences as citizens. Many respond by assuming a mantle of strength that may convince others, and even themselves, that they do not need help. But as a result, the unique political issues of black women are often ignored and marginalized.
In this groundbreaking book, Melissa V. Harris-Perry uses multiple methods of inquiry, including literary analysis, political theory, focus groups, surveys, and experimental research, to understand more deeply black women's political and emotional responses to pervasive negative race and gender images. Not a traditional political science work concerned with office-seeking, voting, or ideology, Sister Citizen is an examination of how African American women understand themselves as citizens and what they expect from political organizing. Harris-Perry shows that the shared struggle to preserve an authentic self and secure recognition as citizens links together black women in America, from the anonymous survivors of Hurricane Katrina to the current First Lady of the United States.
©2011 Melissa Victoria Harris-Perry (P)2012 Tantor
"Harris-Perry offers fascinating observations of how black women are, at times, constricted by their mythology and asserts that their experiences act as a democratic litmus test for the nation." (Booklist)
The book was such an eye opener. It is well written and provides great insight into the mis-recognition and shaming of Black women. It is a deeply emotional and insightful perspective on Black women.
I haven't read any similar books
The narrator had a hard time translating the transitions in the book, as well as the excerpts from other texts that are in the hard copy of book. It is therefore difficult to know when the narrator is reading Harris-Perry's text or one of the poems or short stories Harris-Perry re-printed in the text.
I was floored by this writing. This book answered so many questions for me. More importantly, as an African American woman of possible mixed heritage, who has spent much of her life questioning whether she was black enough, I now see how most of my experience is rooted in the challenges that being African American entail.
Yes, it is a very powerful and well articulated work on shame, finding one's own way while overcoming societal scapegoating.
The poetry and quoted books were read beautifully.
Finding our own power in the crocked room.
I would recommend this book to anyone who believes in working towards a more just world.
This book said so many things I didn't have the words to articulate and so many things I knew were happening and was told I was imagining. It's comforting to know that there have been studies and research to validate my experiences and to have confirmation that it wasn't in my head.
Lisa Reneé Pitts' voice was an excellent choice for narration.
Sister Citizen ranks #1 among all the audiobooks I have listened to.
What I liked best about this story was that I was able to reiterate it to other sisters without wondering if I truly grasped the message.
Lisa Renee Pitts brings a clear perspective to the story that If I was readings it I would not have experienced. Her tone allows you to absorb her perspective without feeling like she was imposing it upon me.
Yes, this book was exactly what I wanted to listen to all in one sitting.
I am convinced that this book is like a bible for Black women and that the information in it should not fall by the way side. The perspectives that were given in each chapter guided my thought process into better understanding what I already knew and believed about "us" as a people in respect to how awesome we are, why it is so important to support one another and stay vigilant to what's going on for, around and against us. My first week reading the book I suggested it to every black women I encountered. This book was introduced to me by my daughter (my sista soldier) so it gave us the opportunity to discuss our observations, understanding and beliefs about who we are as a people and specifically; as black women.
Thank you Melissa! This book has forever changed me. It caused me to take a journey of challenging, yet liberating self reflection.
Definitely at the top. Melissa V. Harris-Perry has become one of my favorite authors because she not only makes arguments -- she provides sources, addresses counterarguments, and provides each side of the discussion independently.
I have never heard an author support their claims like this author did. She doesn't rely on the reader to have any assumptions or knowledge when she presents information.
I loved the book, but the hardest part about it was the narrator's lack of tone change when quoting or referencing another piece of work. It became hard to tell what Melissa wrote and what she was quoting at times.
Sister Citizen by Melissa V. Harris-Perry is a foundational read/listen for all scholars! I am currently an African American Studies and Sociology Student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. This semester my Black Women in the Contemporary US course has lead me to this book! I will be forever grateful and continue to seek knowledge!
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