Telling histories: Black women historians in the ivory tower

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University of North Carolina Press, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 291 pages
The field of black women's history gained recognition as a legitimate field of study late in the twentieth century. Collecting stories that are both deeply personal and powerfully political, Telling Historiescompiles seventeen personal narratives by leading black women historians at various stages in their careers. Their essays illuminate how--first as graduate students and then as professional historians--they entered and navigated the realm of higher education, a world concerned with and dominated by whites and men. In distinct voices and from different vantage points, the personal histories revealed here also tell the story of the struggle to establish a new scholarly field. Black women, alleged by affirmative-action supporters and opponents to be "twofers," recount how they have confronted racism, sexism, and homophobia on college campuses. They explore how the personal and the political intersect in historical research and writing and in the academy. Organized by the years the contributors earned their Ph.D.'s, these essays follow the black women who entered the field of history during and after the civil rights and black power movements, endured the turbulent 1970s, and opened up the field of black women's history in the 1980s. By comparing the experiences of older and younger generations, this collection makes visible the benefits and drawbacks of the institutionalization of African American and African American women's history. Telling Historiescaptures the voices of these pioneers, intimately and publicly. Contributors: Mia Bay, Rutgers University Elsa Barkley Brown, University of Maryland Leslie Brown, Washington University, St. Louis Crystal N. Feimster, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Sharon Harley, University of Maryland Wanda A. Hendricks, University of South Carolina Darlene Clark Hine, Northwestern University Chana Kai Lee, University of Georgia Jennifer L. Morgan, New York University Nell Irvin Painter, Newark, New Jersey Merline Pitre, Texas Southern University Barbara Ransby, University of Illinois at Chicago Julie Saville, University of Chicago Brenda Elaine Stevenson, University of California, Los Angeles Ula Taylor, University of California, Berkeley Rosalyn Terborg-Penn, Morgan State University Deborah Gray White, Rutgers University

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Contents

Un Essai dEgoHistoire
28
Becoming a Black Womans Historian
42
A Journey through History
58
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Deborah Gray White is Board of Governors Professor of History at Rutgers University. Her previous books include Too Heavy a Load: Black Women in Defense of Themselves, 1894-1994 and Ar'n't I a Woman?: Female Slaves in the Plantation South.

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