Category Archives: Book Discussion

“Doers of the Word” – Chapters 5 and 6

Thank you for joining us for our discussion of the book “Doers of the Word”: African-American Women Speakers and Writers in the North (1830-1880) by Carla L. Peterson. If you are confused about this Black History Month segment, please see our earlier post that outlines the book discussion concept.

Doers of the wordCarla L. Peterson’s book – ““Doers of the Word”: African-American Women Speakers and Writers in the North (1830-1880) – is not for the casual reader.  It does not lend itself to speed reading or skimming; instead, it requires a commitment of time and effort on the part of the reader.  For me, however, the knowledge that I have gained is well worth the time and effort. Continue reading

Doers of the Word: Chapters 3 and 4

Welcome to our discussion of the book “Doers of the Word”: African-American Women Speakers and Writers in the North (1830-1880) by Carla L. Peterson. If you are confused about this Black History Month segment, please see our post from last week that outlines the book discussion concept.

Doers of the word

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we are all products of our time and environment. Everything we do…every thought we think…every action we perform…all of our earthly experiences are shaped by where and when we live. As I sit here typing this on my computer, I remember back to my freshman year of high school when I was quite literally among those lucky few in the very last class of students to use manual typewriters in our typing class. Students today certainly don’t learn to type on old-fashioned type writers. In fact, they don’t even really NEED typing classes…they learn to type before they learn to write, and almost everyone I know has at least one computer at home! Incredible. We are products of our time and environment, and today we live in an environment where, thanks to the Internet, the world and all the information therein is at our fingertips. Continue reading

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An Additional Narrative : Discussion of Chapters 1 and 2

Welcome to our first discussion of the book “Doers of the Word”: African-American Women Speakers and Writers in the North (1830-1880) by Carla L. Peterson. If you are confused about this Black History Month segment, please see our post from last week that outlines the book discussion concept.Doers of the word

As Carla L. Peterson explains her purpose and begins to explore the lives of women highlighted throughout the book, I am most struck by the realization that before this book, I knew mostly names of black women connected to southern slavery. This is the narrative of black history. It ends and begins with slavery. When I think of northern abolitionists I think of white people but mostly white women. Black women have been completely erased from the northern abolitionist narrative, which allows for the development of a narrative that views northern whites as the savior of enslaved southern blacks. This, of course, continues an ongoing hierarchy of indebtedness and development of the benevolent oppressor. I believe the very act of expanding our awareness of the diversity of experiences of black people in the 1800s breaks down the oppressive nature of our history and forces us to view the black experience as an individual experience. Our history is not a homogeneous monument to one specific type of oppression (slavery). Just as there is not one narrative of oppression to capture black experience today, there was not of the past either. Continue reading

Black History Month Book Discussion

Doers of the word

As we round out our first blog year and move into our second, we have decided to make a greater effort to focus on identity and awareness months. Today marks the first day of Black History Month. We thought we would try something new and feature a book that we can read and discuss together.

We have selected Doers of the Word: African American Women Speakers and Writers in the North. You can download a copy through the Kindle app or have one shipped to your home. This book features African-American women preachers, lecturers, and writers from the North from 1830-1880. I will be reading this book for the first time along with anyone else who chooses to participate, so for a more comprehensive review please see the Amazon summary.

Each week, we will cover 2 chapters. We will post a blog about the chapters each Monday and open the comments up to discussion. We ask that all related comments be posted on the FEMWOC website to aid in unified interactive discussion. We hope you will find the time and will have a desire to participate as we read about historical African-American women who were engaged in social justice action and work. I’m sure this will be a very enriching and enlightening experience!