Carved in Ebony: Lessons from the Black Women Who Shape Us

Jasmine L. Holmes. Bethany House, $17.99 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-0-7642-3885-7
Educator and essayist Holmes (Mother to Son) employs her love for storytelling, history, and her Christian religion in this enlightening collection of portrayals that showcase “the inherent dignity and worth of [Black] women,” as a direct reproach to America’s “shabby record of acting in good faith toward its Black residents.” Each chapter focuses on a different historical woman, such as Sara Griffith Stanley (1837–1918), a dedicated abolitionist who affirmed that “the image of God in the body of the Negro”; and Amanda Berry Smith (1837–1915), a minister who preached even to white audiences in the U.S. and England and established a legacy working with orphans in India and Africa. Holmes doesn’t shy away from contrary opinions on figures whose ideologies she disagrees with, such as Booker T. Washington or Nannie Helen Burroughs (whom she criticizes for teaching Black people they can only be respected by earning respect), though she also recognizes Burroughs’s challenging of how white people placed “all kinds of barriers in the way of the progress of the Negro race.” Holmes trains a spotlight on notable Black women who lived life as she and others of faith wish to—through personal empowerment and religious devotion. It’s crucial reading for anyone studying the intersections of feminism and race, with or without a religious lens. Agent: Don W. Gates Jr., the Gates Group. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 10/21/2021
Release date: 11/01/2021
Genre: Religion
Hardcover - 192 pages - 978-0-7642-3970-0
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