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Watching #SelfMadeNetflix as a historian who specializes in Black women in work/business/industry, specifically uncovering their struggles 4 economic justice I thought abt the texts/contexts that would have helped clarify the life of MCJW. I am starting #SelfMadeSyllabus. (1)
First up, Tera Hunter's To Joy My Freedom -- about Black women and work after the Civil War, and focuses on the lives and activism of washerwomen in the south, specifically Atlanta. hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?is… (2)
Second up, Deborah Gray White's Too Heavy A Load, is a classic in Black women's history and tells the history of Black women's organizations, including the National Association of Colored Women, books.google.com/books/about/To… (3)
Thirdly, in Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, Righteous Discontent: The Women's Movement in the Black Baptist Church, 1880-1920, she lays out the "politics of respectability," which undergirded much of Black Christian women's activism
hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?is… (4)
Fourthly, Darlene Clark Hine, Rape and the Inner Lives of Black Women, a seminal work uncovering Black women's experiences of sexual violence and the strategies they used to protect themselves jstor.org/stable/3174692… (5)
Next, Juliet E.K. Walker, The History of Black Business in America: Capitalism, Race and Entrepreneurship provides an overview of Black business and situates people like MCJW in a broader context books.google.com/books?id=Y9C6A… (6)
Also, Jacqueline Jones, Labor of Love, Labor of Sorrow: Black Women, Work and the Family from Slavery to the Present examines Black women and their labor struggles and triumphs over time basicbooks.com/titles/jacquel… (7)
Additionally, Julia Kirk Blackwelder's Stylin Jim Crow: African American Beauty Training During Segregation explores Black beauty education during the Jim Crow era amazon.com/Styling-Jim-Cr… (8)
The list continues with Susannah Walker's Style and Status: Selling Beauty to African American Women, 1920-1975 uknowledge.uky.edu/upk_african_am… (9)
Not done yet, also Tiffany Gill's brilliant Beauty Shop Politics which explores Black women's beauty activism, nationally and internationally, including their organizational and professional efforts press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/… (10)
Can't forget the biography of MCJW by A'Lelia Bundles, On Her Own Ground simonandschuster.com/books/On-Her-O… (11)
Also, can't forget to explore other Black Businesswomen during this time, like Maggie Lena Walker (of no relation to MCJW) my blog post: americanhistory.si.edu/blog/maggie-wa… (11)
Also, for more history on Black women in finance, Shennette Garrett-Scott's, Banking on Freedom, cup.columbia.edu/book/banking-o… (12)
And, because I know some of y'all would rather watch a documentary than read, check out Boss: The Black Experience in Business pbs.org/wnet/boss/ (13)
Rounding out the list, but could have very easily began with these last two: Darlene Clark Hine and Kathleen Thompson's A Shining Thread of Hope: The History of Black Women in America penguinrandomhouse.com/books/80310/a-… (14)
And the newest by Kali Nicole Gross and Daina Raimey Berry A Black Women's History of the US beacon.org/A-Black-Womens… (15)
I think all of the books and articles provided here would add tremendous context and #herstory to #SelfMadeNetflix. While competition and ruthlessness may be a defining theme of capitalism, I was disappointed in how this framed the story. (16)
Money matters in Black women's lives, but so too does migration, relationship, access, justice, education, philanthropy-all of these got short shrift in this made TV special. Good thing there is a field, Black Women's History, that can provide us with the education we need.
I know there are probably more texts/contexts (films, music, etc) that I could have added--feel free to add to this list! (FIN)
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