Beyond NON-FICTION: I’M EVERY WOMAN by Lonnae O’Neal Parker
The current issue features a comprehensive review of Lonnae O’Neal Parker’s I’m Every Woman: Remixed Stories of Marriage, Motherhood, and Work by one of my favorite LM columnists, Deesha Philyaw (who also had a feature story with PHOTOS of her own family in a recent issue of the gorgeous parenting magazine from Disney, Wondertime. Go Deesha!).
In I’m Every Woman Parker discusses the latest reincarnation of the mommy wars, and how these battles traditionally “ignore the multiple layers of consciousness permeating many black women’s lives,” thereby neglecting to include a critical group with the longest, most demanding history of the relationships that continue to exist between women and work.
“Feminism as a social and political movement has not fully recognized black women’s triple consciousness,” Deesha writes in her review, “our history and everyday lives, lives lived through the dehumanizing experience of slavery and the unfulfilled promises of Reconstruction; through lynching, Jim Crow, segregation; through contemporary racial disparities and injustice. At its worst, feminism has not only failed to challenge the larger society’s racism and classism, it has mirrored it.
“In I’m Every Woman Parker presents black women’s work and family lives in context, including her own life and those of other women. Lives linked to the past, grounded in a society that doesn’t always respond affirmatively when we ask, ‘Ain’t I a woman?’ In doing so, Parker reminds us that the personal is not only political, but often, universal.
“So it is in the tradition of and in homage to Truth, Du Bois, Hurston, and women ancestors Parker knows by name and those she does not that she writes I’m Every Woman. In doing so, she takes her seat at the national roundtable on work and marriage and motherhood.
“This book has practical wisdom for any woman who has ever been too exhausted to give a damn about the latest volley in the mommy wars.” Love it.