Author: Saidiya V. Hartman

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A Unique History in Review: Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments

March 11, 2019 Uncategorized 2

A Unique History in Review: Wayward Lives, Beautiful ExperimentsTitle: Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval
Author: Saidiya V. Hartman
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

Summary: A lovely, unique history that highlights the radical, innovative social lives that black women shaped for themselves during the Jim Crow era.

I was immediately drawn to the concept of this book, which tells the stories of people whose lives weren’t considered worth recording in their own time. When the stories of black women were recorded at this time, it was typically by people who saw them as a social problem. The lives these women shaped for themselves included “free love, common-law and transient marriages, serial partners, cohabitation outside of wedlock, queer relations, and single motherhood.” At the time, these choices were seen as a threat to social order that needed to be controlled or eliminated. This books shows the bravery and beauty of those revolutionary choices, driven by a desire to live freely and expansively despite social constraints that made mere survival a challenge. Read more »

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