Spanning over 400 years, this book prioritizes all voices: from poor and working-class domestics to middle-class reform women to sex workers and female convicts. The book challenges historical stereotypes and myths but also offers a contemporary understanding of Black women in America, highlighting diverse lives--from activists to athletes to rappers. Focusing on the unique and expansive experience of Black women, Berry and Gross reach far beyond a single narrative of Black women in America. The result is a book that centers race, gender and sexuality in the North, as well as the South, and in both rural and urban areas, to show that Black women are--and have always been--foundational to America.

A Black Women’s History of the United States

Revisioning American History Series

Beacon Press 2020

A vibrant and empowering history that emphasizes the perspectives and stories of African-American women to show how they are--and have always been--instrumental in shaping our country.

In centering Black women’s stories, two award-winning historians seek both to empower all African-American women, and to show their allies that Black women’s unique experience with combatting centuries of oppression is an essential component in our continued resistance to systemic racism. Daina Ramey Berry and Kali Nicole Gross offer an examination and celebration of Black womanhood, beginning with the first African women who arrived in what became the United States, until African American women of today.

A Black Women's History of the United States reaches far beyond a single narrative to showcase Black women’s lives in all their fraught complexities. Berry and Gross prioritize all voices: enslaved women, freedwomen, educators, athletes, religious leaders, artists, queer women, activists, and also those women who lived outside of the law. The result is a starting point for exploring Black women’s history and a testament to the beauty, richness, rhythm, tragedy, heartbreak, rage, and enduring love that abounds in the spirit of Black women in communities all across the nation.