Double Burden: Black Women and Everyday Racism

Yanick St Jean, Author, Joe R. Feagin, Joint Author
Yanick St Jean, Author, Joe R. Feagin, Joint Author M.E. Sharpe $52.95 (252p) ISBN 978-1-56324-944-0
Reviewed on: 12/01/1997
Release date: 12/01/1997
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-1-56324-945-7
Hardcover - 252 pages - 978-0-562-34944-1
Paperback - 252 pages - 978-0-562-34945-8
Hardcover - 245 pages - 978-0-585-19044-0
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This book, based on interviews and focus groups with 200 black women, aims to examine ""how African American women are physically, morally, and spiritually stigmatized by a dominant culture."" The authors describe how the common stereotypes of the domineering ""Sapphire"" and the insatiable ""Jezebel"" endure. At work, they report, black women are seen as ""more controllable by white decision makers."" The authors criticize white standards of beauty, though their criticism of predominantly white children's dolls neglects to acknowledge a recent multicultural push. Other sections also seem slightly dated. Perhaps most usefully to readers new to this subject, respondents explain how seemingly small encounters--like indifferent service--create racial friction between blacks and whites. The authors make some worthy points, but their highly negative focus begs for more subtlety: for instance, why criticize Terry McMillan's book Waiting to Exhale without explaining why so many black women applauded it? St. Jean teaches sociology at the University of Nevada; Feagin teaches sociology at the University of Florida. (Dec.)
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