by Evette Dionne
This short-but-thorough YA nonfiction book (170 pages or a 5-hour audiobook) is a worthwhile read this month as we make a special effort to celebrate women's history. Published in 2020, the book starts off by reminding readers how quick we were to think of and honor white suffragists during Hillary Clinton's campaign in the 2016 presidential election. This spurred author Evette Dionne to urge folks to remember all of the Black women who were a significant part of that struggle.
I won't lie - this wasn't an easy, light read. Dionne spells out how Black women were not only fighting for the right to vote, they were simultaneously fighting to end the killing of Black people by lynching that was common at the time. And they were also fighting to raise their families and give them opportunities they themselves did not have. Intersectionality refers to the interconnectedness between social categories like gender, race, and class, and how those can exponentially work together to keep a person down. Black women were systemically oppressed because they were female, because they were Black, and because they were poor. They couldn't choose just one fight to focus on; they had to fight on so many fronts.
"Dionne highlights how the stories of Black women have routinely been systemically buried. The white women who led the suffrage movement did not treat them as equals and were willing to deny or overlook the rights of Black women if it meant a quicker road to their own goals. And though many movements and stories were closely intertwined, few of these narratives are taught in history classrooms today. Dionne pulls back the veil on these stories" ~ Booklist Reviews
See the Jones Library Antiracism Book List for recommended titles for all ages.