Friday, November 23, 2007

Beyond NON-FICTION: I’M EVERY WOMAN by Lonnae O’Neal Parker

Every issue of Literary Mama is worth reading, the current one especially so. Titled “Of Choices and Losses,” its individual pieces somehow combine to not only highlight the difficulties of so many of life’s choices and losses, but in their reflections make us even more thankful for every little good thing that comes our way.

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.


Blogger Michelle O'Neil said...

Love the last quote here. Amen to that!

8:00 PM  
Blogger Sustenance Scout said...

I'm right there with you on that one, Michelle! And I have no idea why those mommy books sell so well. K.

4:15 PM  
Blogger Sustenance Scout said...

Just heard from Deesha darlin' that she no longer writes her The Girl is Mine columns for LM (oh no! I swear she was talking directly to me with each of those essays; may have something to do with us both having two little girls) but she's working with Wondertime on more articles. If you have preschoolers, check out that magazine. I discovered it at a dentist's office when it first came out; Disney publishes it and it's polished with some fine writing. K.

6:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You are so kind. Thanks, as always, for the blog-love.


7:40 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home