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Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America

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Based on the African American Women's Voices Project, Shifting reveals that a large number of African American women feel pressure to com-promise their true selves as they navigate America's racial and gender bigotry. Black women "shift" by altering the expectations they have for themselves or their outer appearance. They modify their speech. They shift "White" as they hea Based on the African American Women's Voices Project, Shifting reveals that a large number of African American women feel pressure to com-promise their true selves as they navigate America's racial and gender bigotry. Black women "shift" by altering the expectations they have for themselves or their outer appearance. They modify their speech. They shift "White" as they head to work in the morning and "Black" as they come back home each night. They shift inward, internalizing the searing pain of the negative stereotypes that they encounter daily. And sometimes they shift by fighting back. With deeply moving interviews, poignantly revealed on each page, Shifting is a much-needed, clear, and comprehensive portrait of the reality of African American women's lives today.


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Based on the African American Women's Voices Project, Shifting reveals that a large number of African American women feel pressure to com-promise their true selves as they navigate America's racial and gender bigotry. Black women "shift" by altering the expectations they have for themselves or their outer appearance. They modify their speech. They shift "White" as they hea Based on the African American Women's Voices Project, Shifting reveals that a large number of African American women feel pressure to com-promise their true selves as they navigate America's racial and gender bigotry. Black women "shift" by altering the expectations they have for themselves or their outer appearance. They modify their speech. They shift "White" as they head to work in the morning and "Black" as they come back home each night. They shift inward, internalizing the searing pain of the negative stereotypes that they encounter daily. And sometimes they shift by fighting back. With deeply moving interviews, poignantly revealed on each page, Shifting is a much-needed, clear, and comprehensive portrait of the reality of African American women's lives today.

30 review for Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

    Wow. That's all I can say after reading this book. If you've ever received the compliment "Wow, you speak so well......" or "Wow, you're so smart ......" with an unspoken trail off at the end of the sentence, this book is for you. If you've ever spoken to someone on the phone and then met them in person, only to have them say in passing "When I talked to you, I thought you were White." This book is for you. If you've cringed at the hyper sexualization of thin, Black females, the "once a Black male Wow. That's all I can say after reading this book. If you've ever received the compliment "Wow, you speak so well......" or "Wow, you're so smart ......" with an unspoken trail off at the end of the sentence, this book is for you. If you've ever spoken to someone on the phone and then met them in person, only to have them say in passing "When I talked to you, I thought you were White." This book is for you. If you've cringed at the hyper sexualization of thin, Black females, the "once a Black male makes over a million dollars, he gets a blond White girl" and know what Black Man's Kyrptonite means, this book is for you. If you've ever thought about having a "Strong Black Family", but the only men that approach you within your social economic group and education background are White men, this book is for you. This is not a light hearted look into what it means to be African American and female in this modern world. This is a hard, educated look into the modern African American educated culture, the plight of the educated Black Woman, our relationships with the men in our racial group and how we relate to the "outside" world. I read this book during February, complementing Black History Month. I must say, I have never been more hyper aware of my skin color in my whole life. Additionally, this book pushed my political views on issues regarding natural vs. relaxed hair, skin color and weight. It illuminated me on the inner race racism and backbiting with Black females as we "shift" to look better to members of Other Races. As a person that has experienced an older, Black woman's disgust at my non straight weaved hair, not anorexic, not attempting to pass to be White personality, I know first hand that this is a problem within our culture. It's time people stop the inner racial self hate, face their anger, and stop trying to mask their skin color. We were born Black. And, unless you have Vitalago, we will die marking that box under "race" that we've done all our lives. This book puts a voice to that indescribable feeling that many of my fellow college educated Black female friends have had to face. It's not a book on HOW to pass. It's a book on how we unconsciously pass, dancing around interacting with different people from different races with the burden of "setting an example". If you are African American, educated, and motivated towards an intelligent and thought provoking life, READ THIS BOOK!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Desiree

    While reading this I realized I picked the wrong time to delve into the subject matter and it was quite unintentional. I had borrowed it from the library and it was fast approaching the return date so I had to get a move on and read it. Now why do I say wrong time? I say this because with all the negativity, bigotry & entitlement that is running rampant this book only served as a reminder and an emphatic confirmation of what African American women have to endure while navigating life in these he While reading this I realized I picked the wrong time to delve into the subject matter and it was quite unintentional. I had borrowed it from the library and it was fast approaching the return date so I had to get a move on and read it. Now why do I say wrong time? I say this because with all the negativity, bigotry & entitlement that is running rampant this book only served as a reminder and an emphatic confirmation of what African American women have to endure while navigating life in these here United States. I found myself nodding a lot and just downright frustrated with example upon example of injustices and biases against black women. I also started to wonder more about the term 'shifting'. I understand what the authors were trying to convey in that black women have to take on certain identities in certain settings but my question is don't we all do that in some form regardless of race or gender in different environments? Everyone has to code switch in some way or the other so sometimes I thought the term 'shifting' to be slightly problematic. On the whole, though I wouldn't exactly regard this as informative for me as it served more as confirmation, it was definitely helpful to have this information collated.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Koko Lewis

    Great information, but no solutions to the issues we face. It is based off a study so it is a long hard read. I definitely saw myself or someone I knew in more than a few stories.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Maya Reid

    I'm sure this work was groundbreaking when it came out, but it felt fairly dated and gender essentialist/heteronormative now. I'd love to see someone take on a similar project with a more modern mindset. I'm sure this work was groundbreaking when it came out, but it felt fairly dated and gender essentialist/heteronormative now. I'd love to see someone take on a similar project with a more modern mindset.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kelli

    The life and times of black women in America having to endure dual "isms" against women and African Americans. The life and times of black women in America having to endure dual "isms" against women and African Americans.

  6. 5 out of 5

    CKE387

    Deals with the duality of being black and female, encountering problems that neither black men nor white women face or coud emphatize with.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kibkabe

    "Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America" is an eye-opening nonfiction book supported by countless interviews and a major study along with references to other studies that shows how black women "shift" — change themselves in one or several ways to appease white America and return to their true selves in black America — and the dangerous effects of those actions. The book brought up shifting in various ways, and though it became a somewhat traumatic read realizing the racism weaved i "Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America" is an eye-opening nonfiction book supported by countless interviews and a major study along with references to other studies that shows how black women "shift" — change themselves in one or several ways to appease white America and return to their true selves in black America — and the dangerous effects of those actions. The book brought up shifting in various ways, and though it became a somewhat traumatic read realizing the racism weaved into my life, it is a thoroughly investigated book that strikes a chord. The chapters focus on so many issues such as black women dealing with the myths of promiscuity and criminality, depression from racism in the workplace and classroom, relationships with black men as friends and lovers, etc. The book is dotted with snapshot stories of women describing how institutionalized racism and sexism have affected their lives and how they live with those effects. For example, several of the women straightened their hair to abide by the European beauty standard to keep their jobs while others experienced sexual harassment by black and non-black men and felt they couldn't speak up because they'd lose their jobs due to race. The one section I thought was lacking was the religion section on how African-American women are mostly Christian and deal with sexism in the black church. Except not all African Americans are divided into the two black church systems in America — African Methodist Episcopal and Baptist. The authors acknowledge this yet only focus on it. In the notes, 87% of the women who answered the surveys said they were Christian. My African-American mother is Muslim, so from that perspective, I know there are other religions we practice largely ignored in black media. These surveys should've been mailed to the religious groups dedicated to African-American women such as those who practice Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Baha'i, etc. These women appeared ignored by the study simply from the authors' assumptions that African Americans are primarily Christian when in actuality it might not be the truth if these other groups were included. Also the book focused on African-American women, but other black women see these issues and that perspective may also have been missing. As a black woman who's half first-generation American through my refugee father, I know this perspective as well is ignored by black media with the assumption that black people from Africa, the Caribbean, South America, Europe, and Asia don't understand racism as they live in America or don't see or feel it. From the title, it says "Black Women in America" but seems to only focus on African-American women, so this could be misleading. Again in the notes, 4% of women said they were born outside the U.S., but it's not explained if these are black women originally from another country or black women who had American parentage. Though the book is almost 15 years old, the issues still resonate today even more so with the #MeToo, Black Lives Matter, and post-Trump women's movements.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gail

    This book is based on a research project, The African American Women's Voices Project. One author is a psychologist, the other a journalist. A wide demographic is included in the study but the book also cites other authors and research to document the results they found. The book explores nearly every aspect of a black woman's life: work, school, intimate relationships (especially between black men and women), depression, health, parenting, beauty, language, and the church. The concept behind th This book is based on a research project, The African American Women's Voices Project. One author is a psychologist, the other a journalist. A wide demographic is included in the study but the book also cites other authors and research to document the results they found. The book explores nearly every aspect of a black woman's life: work, school, intimate relationships (especially between black men and women), depression, health, parenting, beauty, language, and the church. The concept behind the title is that in American society, black women have to "shift" psychologically and in other concrete ways (how they speak, how they dress, to whom they defer, for example) in order to survive racism and sexism. Shifting requires an ability to move in and out of various identities and the expected behaviors that accompany them based on the "audience" of the moment. The toll that "shifting" takes can be enormous. I thought this book was especially skillful at showing how issues that are common to all women can be particularly burdensome to black women because of their race and the cultural expectations that black women are subjected to. The topic of sexism in black culture is addressed as well, especially in the sections on relationships between black men and women and the "place" that women must accept within the black church. The breadth of this book along with the research that forms the foundation, make this a great book for exploring the challenges of being a black woman today. This is suitable for both black and white women who want to understand more about what it means to be a black women in America at this point in our history.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Izetta Autumn

    Given the recent torture and sexual assault of Megan Williams, a 20-year old West Virginian who was held captive for several days, while she was repeatedly raped and beaten, and the Dunbar Housing Project sexual assault, I feel it's vitally important to read about the lives of Black Women (and all womyn) in America - especially as so many of us face violence. For me, reading is about good books - but also books that equip me with the ability to live a more full and aware life. Check out: http://ww Given the recent torture and sexual assault of Megan Williams, a 20-year old West Virginian who was held captive for several days, while she was repeatedly raped and beaten, and the Dunbar Housing Project sexual assault, I feel it's vitally important to read about the lives of Black Women (and all womyn) in America - especially as so many of us face violence. For me, reading is about good books - but also books that equip me with the ability to live a more full and aware life. Check out: http://www.jumpcut.com/view?id=E44BFB... For articles re: Megan Williams and the Dunbar Housing Project crimes: http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/con... http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6... http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id... http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/09/12/mart... http://www.courttv.com/news/2007/0913... http://www.courttv.com/news/2007/0913... http://whataboutourdaughters.blogspot...

  10. 5 out of 5

    BMR, LCSW

    I cannot articulate how deeply this book affected me. If there were a freshman survey course about me at a university, this would be the first book on the syllabus. I have so much to unpack and think about after finishing this book. I'd say 60 percent of the stories resonated with me at such a deep level, it was like reading a narrative of my life so far. The other 40 percent of stories I recognized in the lives of other Black women I know. I don't buy many books anymore, but I am buying this one. I I cannot articulate how deeply this book affected me. If there were a freshman survey course about me at a university, this would be the first book on the syllabus. I have so much to unpack and think about after finishing this book. I'd say 60 percent of the stories resonated with me at such a deep level, it was like reading a narrative of my life so far. The other 40 percent of stories I recognized in the lives of other Black women I know. I don't buy many books anymore, but I am buying this one. I'd love to read a similar book about the lives of other demographics of women (and men, for that matter) that are similarly disenfranchised by our society. I very much hope an update to this book is in process, or at least in consideration.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Christie

    A lot of this book hit close to home for me, and maybe that is a good thing. It explains a lot of what I have gone/continue to go through as a Black woman in modern society. Good read for gender studies, feminists, and Black/AA Studies students, as well as anyone interested in the psychological effects of 'shifting' to accommodate and 'smooth things over' for others. A lot of this book hit close to home for me, and maybe that is a good thing. It explains a lot of what I have gone/continue to go through as a Black woman in modern society. Good read for gender studies, feminists, and Black/AA Studies students, as well as anyone interested in the psychological effects of 'shifting' to accommodate and 'smooth things over' for others.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Elisa Gusdal

    Enjoyed the discussion with the author at the NOMMO Forum.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lori Hylton

    Read this book several years ago and it really spoke to me. But now that I'm at a much different place in my life I wonder if I will feel the same ? So it's on my re-read list. We'll see. Read this book several years ago and it really spoke to me. But now that I'm at a much different place in my life I wonder if I will feel the same ? So it's on my re-read list. We'll see.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    I gave this 4 starts because the information and findings of the research are very important to understand, Its weakness is in the editing and style of presentation. I understand that this has a target audience of both the black woman and her place and what she experiences in our society and the general public who my have never thought about the sexism or racism that black women have to deal with on a daily basis. With this in mind it has done a good job, though I would have preferred a differen I gave this 4 starts because the information and findings of the research are very important to understand, Its weakness is in the editing and style of presentation. I understand that this has a target audience of both the black woman and her place and what she experiences in our society and the general public who my have never thought about the sexism or racism that black women have to deal with on a daily basis. With this in mind it has done a good job, though I would have preferred a different format. As an older woman I can definitely identify with sexism in society and the pervasiveness in the workplace as I experienced this in my working years between 1959 and 2014. Abusive sexism that borders on harassment generally was targeted on the most vulnerable within the workplace. Misogynistic men never tease, harass women who have any power, they do pick on people they know need their job, single Moms, single women who might have a harder time walking away from employment. It has improved over the years from the blatant physical assaults women experienced in the years before the 90s...but for minority women it was definitely more apparent. One of the real failures of feminism is that it did not take up the cause of minority women in the 60s through 90s. Racism is a factor that most white women don't as easily see either in social settings or in the workplace, often because they are unaware how much they have been influenced by its pervasiveness, and don't recognize that it does shape their first impressions of people of color. It takes a lot of introspection to recognize it within yourself as a majority member. It also take introspection for people of color to see that racism takes a heavy toll within their own communities, when it has been internalized. This would be an important read for anyone in middle management, because that is the level that does most of the hiring, and where one sees the most prejudice in hiring where the preference too often is on appearance and common interests (sports activities, club memberships, same alma mater etc.) and not on experience or knowledge and education. I can remember clearly when I hired a trainee who I had met in a college where I was taking a continuing education course, she was one of the best students in the class, and was looking for a career change. I was very impressed with her and hired her. She was in her late 30s and quite plump, but had so much raw talent that I knew she would excel. I was lambasted by upper management, how could I hire someone who looked like her, a 'fat' woman, how would that look to clients and on and on. I prevailed and she did end up being one of our best employees. Strangely we did not have a department that interfaced with the general public, but women were generally hired based on their physical attributes rather than their potential. It was a good lesson for me as a woman to realize what the criteria really was, and it stood in contrast to the men hired who often were very unattractive, but felt that they should be surrounded by physically attractive women in the workplace. This book has the possibility of being a way for people to shift some of their preconceived notions about people often viewed as 'other'.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tamara Evans

    This book is insightful, reassuring and tragic all at The same time. Although I pride myself on being a quick reader, as I read each chapter, I needed time to disengage from the book and ruminate on what I read. The book consists of ten chapters with perspectives from 333 African American women who participated in 2000’s African American Women Voices Project. While the woman who participate in this project come from diverse backgrounds, sexuality, religions, and occupations, all have experienced This book is insightful, reassuring and tragic all at The same time. Although I pride myself on being a quick reader, as I read each chapter, I needed time to disengage from the book and ruminate on what I read. The book consists of ten chapters with perspectives from 333 African American women who participated in 2000’s African American Women Voices Project. While the woman who participate in this project come from diverse backgrounds, sexuality, religions, and occupations, all have experienced the same discomfort that comes with “shifting,” or changing who they are to make others around them (often caucasians) more comfortable. As I read this book which covers various topics Including the roots of shifting, the many ways in which African American women shift personalities and demeanor not just at work but also at home, and black women and beauty, I found myself saddened to discover that I’m not alone in negative experiences I’ve encountered based on a being an African American woman but also encouraged by how my unknown sisters have developed various coping mechanisms (some successful and some not successful). I personally cope with stressors faced by having to shift daily within different environments by exercising on a daily basis and journaling. While this book by no means reflects the lived life experiences of all African American women, the authors do an excellent job in shining a light on shared trauma, sexism and marginalization as well as the shared desire to be heard and understood.

  16. 4 out of 5

    G

    Important and interesting This is an important and interesting topic. I thank the authors for writing it. It should be required reading for ALL Americans to promote empathy, though I'm sure most would still deny there is an issue. I appreciate the discussion of how many black women don't see sexism as an issue. I do wish there was discussion about how the insistence of being with black men, though data and experience show how difficult that can be, may not be the most successful root for black wo Important and interesting This is an important and interesting topic. I thank the authors for writing it. It should be required reading for ALL Americans to promote empathy, though I'm sure most would still deny there is an issue. I appreciate the discussion of how many black women don't see sexism as an issue. I do wish there was discussion about how the insistence of being with black men, though data and experience show how difficult that can be, may not be the most successful root for black women looking for love. The book portrays getting a black man as the holy grail rather than finding a partner who loves and respects you as the goal. Anyway, you can't cover everything in one book but this book is a good beginning.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    This book is one of many that I am reading for my dissertation. I found support for my research in this book. Black women similar experiences but we may experience them in a different way. The authors did a great job of using the women's stories to describe Black women's experiences. Also, the authors did a great job of supporting their findings with the research literature. The methodology, research problem, research questions, and sampling strategy are clearly delineated. This is a solid book This book is one of many that I am reading for my dissertation. I found support for my research in this book. Black women similar experiences but we may experience them in a different way. The authors did a great job of using the women's stories to describe Black women's experiences. Also, the authors did a great job of supporting their findings with the research literature. The methodology, research problem, research questions, and sampling strategy are clearly delineated. This is a solid book that I recommend to others who are conducting research about Black women. There is much from this book that I will be citing in my dissertation.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kendra

    A fantastic resource and discussion of many aspects of black women's experience in the United States. Highly recommend it as a way to understanding competing forces in the lives of black women. Only two drawbacks: a) sometimes it felt a little bit like the authors were trying too hard to put a positive force on the conclusion of each chapter and b) the book doesn't discuss queer or trans black women's experiences at all. It's a real oversight in a really interesting project. A fantastic resource and discussion of many aspects of black women's experience in the United States. Highly recommend it as a way to understanding competing forces in the lives of black women. Only two drawbacks: a) sometimes it felt a little bit like the authors were trying too hard to put a positive force on the conclusion of each chapter and b) the book doesn't discuss queer or trans black women's experiences at all. It's a real oversight in a really interesting project.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Khalia

    This book chose me at an appropriate time. I am preparing to propel a career. I empathize with what behaviours black women elect for survival. I prefer to behave similarly regardless of the company. If someone doesn't accept me, I don't associate with that person. Shifting leads to confusion and despair. You're not allowing yourself to live freely. It pays to understand the plight of my people. This book chose me at an appropriate time. I am preparing to propel a career. I empathize with what behaviours black women elect for survival. I prefer to behave similarly regardless of the company. If someone doesn't accept me, I don't associate with that person. Shifting leads to confusion and despair. You're not allowing yourself to live freely. It pays to understand the plight of my people.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bianca Lascano

    If you are an African American woman I am certain you can relate with many stories presented in the text. It’s actually an eye opener as well. Helps you to explore the different factors that play into the “shifting” of our day to day tasks simply because of the color of our skin or our gender. It was an easy read!!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Misty

    An impressive example of a book white people really need to read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Turquoise Brennan

    Great read ...much read like a textbook though

  23. 5 out of 5

    Monique

    Charisse Jones is an award winning author and reporter for USA today. Kumea Shorter-Gooden is a licensed psychologist and professor of psychology at Alliant International University. This book carefully recreates the emotional rollercoaster that Black women ride every day in corporate America. This work rest on the African American Women’s Voices Project (AAWBP), which interviewed four hundred African American women from across the United States. Overwhelmingly the women commented that they are a Charisse Jones is an award winning author and reporter for USA today. Kumea Shorter-Gooden is a licensed psychologist and professor of psychology at Alliant International University. This book carefully recreates the emotional rollercoaster that Black women ride every day in corporate America. This work rest on the African American Women’s Voices Project (AAWBP), which interviewed four hundred African American women from across the United States. Overwhelmingly the women commented that they are always shifting from “White” to “Black” in terms of their vocabulary, interactions, movements, and emotional stress. This is viewed as a coping skill that often diminishes the joys of living an authentic life. Jones notes that this is causing detrimental mental and emotional stress on Black women. The continued effects of racism and sexism makes African American women susceptible to many issues: anxiety, low self-esteem, eating disorders, obesity, depression, and self-hatred. African American women are allowed to share their feelings and voice their concerns in this ground breaking research. While the term sister circle is not mentioned, it is referred to in terms of seeking out others from similar backgrounds and having regular breaks with women pressing through similar issues. There are suggestions for how to live through the effects of racism and sexism. The narrative is most important as the women deal with motherhood, issues in the workplace, accepting their beauty (however different that may be), building relationships with men and women of other cultures, and accommodating their truth in spirituality. African American women are celebrated and loved on in this remarkable work.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Evelyne

    An enlightening read that brought to the forefront many of the struggles and challenges Black women in America face--both within their families and communities and in the workforce. I will admit I was ignorant to many of these challenges. In this sense, Shifting has served to make me conscious of the many obstacles and prejudices Black women face in America--because of their race and also uniquely because of their gender. As a result of reading this book I have become more committed to making su An enlightening read that brought to the forefront many of the struggles and challenges Black women in America face--both within their families and communities and in the workforce. I will admit I was ignorant to many of these challenges. In this sense, Shifting has served to make me conscious of the many obstacles and prejudices Black women face in America--because of their race and also uniquely because of their gender. As a result of reading this book I have become more committed to making sure that I am not the one who--consciously or unconsciously--puts up any barriers or impediments to to success of Black women--or women of any other race, for that matter. The reason I did not give this book 3 or more stars, is that I had some issues with the way Shifting was written and researched. First, as the authors themselves openly admitted, the results of the surveys and interviews were not representative of the entire cross-section of African-American women. The authors interviewed only those women who volunteered to speak up, and, although they did incorporate facts from outside research, the book overall was based on purely anecdotal evidence. Secondly, the authors themselves are African American women, who are intrinsically biased, no matter how professional they are normally. Although I know the interviewees wouldn't have been as honest had the authors been white, there is a conflict of interest present. As I told my book club, the authors ideally would have to be aliens from another planet!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Telly Ree

    This book is creative in how it explores ways African American women must shift to battle bigotry and sexism in their daily lives, either it be at work, school, within their own environments, relationships, family, and even church. While this covered many areas in which black women have to shift to survive, condensing a variety of situations down into a 300 page book did not give the authors a chance to really scratch the surface. What the book did do was unintentionally and indirectly draw the This book is creative in how it explores ways African American women must shift to battle bigotry and sexism in their daily lives, either it be at work, school, within their own environments, relationships, family, and even church. While this covered many areas in which black women have to shift to survive, condensing a variety of situations down into a 300 page book did not give the authors a chance to really scratch the surface. What the book did do was unintentionally and indirectly draw the focus to the divide between black men and women, which feminist rhetoric has been successful at doing. Overall, this book brought attention to topics that other black women and researchers can take and build upon to do deeper research into the shifts that black women must take upon themselves for basic survival in American society.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mr. Roboto

    I bought this book after meeting the authors at a book-signing at Women and Children First bookstore in Chicago. They do a nice job of addressing what many black people feel they have to do in the workplace - turn on their "acceptable" selves. This book presents the results of a qualitative study and includes quotes from interviews. A common way of shifting (mentioned often by study participants) is toning down anger to avoid being perceived as a crazy, finger-waving, neck-swiveling Black woman. I bought this book after meeting the authors at a book-signing at Women and Children First bookstore in Chicago. They do a nice job of addressing what many black people feel they have to do in the workplace - turn on their "acceptable" selves. This book presents the results of a qualitative study and includes quotes from interviews. A common way of shifting (mentioned often by study participants) is toning down anger to avoid being perceived as a crazy, finger-waving, neck-swiveling Black woman. Anyone who finds themselves even the tiniest bit afraid of being at the end of the waving finger or rolling neck should read this.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Doris Raines

    What. Do. I. Think. About. This. Book. Not. Interest. Why. ? Simply. Because. I. Do. Not. Agree. With. Everything. This. Author. Quoted. Really. Maybe. Thats. Way. She. Feels. Not. _me. Iam. A. Proud. African. American. Know. Shame. In. My. Game. Why. Because. I. Love. Me. Some. Me. My. Skin. Is. Dark. And. Lovely. So. Am. I. Seems. Like. This. Author. Have. A. Low. Self. Of. Steem. Note. Love. Who. You. Are. Thus. Far. Dont. Be. Lack. Be. Proud. Of. Your. Skin. Tone. Welcome. To. The. Real. Wor What. Do. I. Think. About. This. Book. Not. Interest. Why. ? Simply. Because. I. Do. Not. Agree. With. Everything. This. Author. Quoted. Really. Maybe. Thats. Way. She. Feels. Not. _me. Iam. A. Proud. African. American. Know. Shame. In. My. Game. Why. Because. I. Love. Me. Some. Me. My. Skin. Is. Dark. And. Lovely. So. Am. I. Seems. Like. This. Author. Have. A. Low. Self. Of. Steem. Note. Love. Who. You. Are. Thus. Far. Dont. Be. Lack. Be. Proud. Of. Your. Skin. Tone. Welcome. To. The. Real. World. There. Is. Know. Turning. Back. I. Was. Design. Like. That. Be. Proud.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany

    This book does a great job of exploring the dual identity of being Black and being a woman. The authors provided a balanced mix of anecdotal stories, their own survey results, and outside research sources to explore areas in which Black women have to "shift" in their lives. This book is worth the read. Even if you are not Black or a woman, this book is a good source to learn about intersectionality and how it operates in our society. This book does a great job of exploring the dual identity of being Black and being a woman. The authors provided a balanced mix of anecdotal stories, their own survey results, and outside research sources to explore areas in which Black women have to "shift" in their lives. This book is worth the read. Even if you are not Black or a woman, this book is a good source to learn about intersectionality and how it operates in our society.

  29. 4 out of 5

    PADC

    In a series of engaging interviews Dr. Shorter-Gooden does an excellent job of highlighting how African American women deal with racism and sexism in daily life -- and how this process is often internalized. Specifically she shows how many African American women compromise the expression of their true selves, and 'shift' to meet external demands and pressures (especially in different work and home environments). She also points out that this 'shifting' comes at a high cost. In a series of engaging interviews Dr. Shorter-Gooden does an excellent job of highlighting how African American women deal with racism and sexism in daily life -- and how this process is often internalized. Specifically she shows how many African American women compromise the expression of their true selves, and 'shift' to meet external demands and pressures (especially in different work and home environments). She also points out that this 'shifting' comes at a high cost.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

    This was a wonderful book. Provides the perspective of black women in America, along with the author's point-blank look at her own race: "If we can't understand what we want, then how can we expect others to understand what we want?" Author was a child in the 1950s, in college in the 1960s and began her journalism career in the mid, to late 1960s. Her perspective on this topic is phenomenal. This was a wonderful book. Provides the perspective of black women in America, along with the author's point-blank look at her own race: "If we can't understand what we want, then how can we expect others to understand what we want?" Author was a child in the 1950s, in college in the 1960s and began her journalism career in the mid, to late 1960s. Her perspective on this topic is phenomenal.

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