Resources that Resonate: "Black Women in America"

Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia, edited by Darlene Clark Hine, Elsa Barkley Brown, Rosalyn Terborg-Penn, 1993.Open copy of "Black Women in America"

– Review by Rhonda A. Super, Serials Specialist and Checkin Supervisor –

WARNING: Randomly opening to any entry in this title may cause addiction and lead to reading of additional entries!

From Phillis Wheatley, the first African-American published in America, to African-American women currently active in America today, this meticulously documented title is a comprehensive and indispensable reference resource for African-American History, Women’s History, and American History. The engaging text entries are supplemented by over 450 pictures.

Entertainers, educators, business women, athletes, authors, journalists, philanthropists, first woman bank president, judges, physicians, organizations, artists, historians, government officials, social workers, activists, politicians, political scientists, a chronology – it’s all here, even librarians (see the entry for the Los Angeles Public Library’s Miriam Matthews who has documented the history and contributions of African-Americans in California, for one).

Appropriate for this year, the entry for the Alpha Suffrage Club provides an added depth to the history of the 19th Amendment giving women the vote, celebrating the 100th Anniversary of its ratification this year. Abandoned by the National American Women Suffrage Association, Black women organized, published their own newsletter, formed their own organization, and took political action on both the state and national levels to achieve their full citizenship under the Amendment.

America’s current economic situation is being compared to the Great Depression. Check out the entry for the Housewives’ League of Detroit to learn about how Black women helped their communities during an economically challenging time.

This is a delightful, inspiring read as well as an awesome educational resource. Dive in! I bet you can’t read just one.

Terborg-Penn, Rosalyn, Brown, Elsa Barkley, Hine, Darlene Clark. Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia. 2 vols. 1st ed. Brooklyn, N.Y. : Carlson Pub., 1993.

NOTE: The picture is of and the review is based on the 1st edition, 1993. There is a 2nd edition, 2005.

This title is currently available to UCLA students, faculty and staff through the HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service.

HathiTrust 1993 edition:

HathiTrust 2005 edition: