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Paula J. Giddings Books In Order

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Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

When and Where I Enter: The Impact of Black Women on Race and Sex in America (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
In Search of Sisterhood: Delta Sigma Theta and the Challenge of the Black Sorority Movement (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Regarding Malcolm X (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Burning All Illusions: Writings from The Nation on Race (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ida: A Sword Among Lions (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon

Paula J. Giddings
Paula J. Giddings was born November 16, 1947 in Yonkers, New York and is an African-American historian and a writer.

She grew up in a mostly white neighborhood in Yonkers, where she systematically and regularly experienced racism and isolation from her white neighbors. These experiences deeply shape her activism during her teen and young adult years. One example would be her participation in Freedom rides during the sixties.

In the year 1965, she enrolled in Howard University, the historically Black college, in order to get a sense of community that she was refused in her hometown. While at Howard she gained insight into her Blackness and it shaped her politics, writing, pride, self-esteem, and appearance in such was that continued even after she graduated.

During her time at Howard, Paula was part of a group of students that worked against colorism, sexism, and classism that they saw running rampant on the campus. These students used their activism, including a takeover of the administrative building and protests. This pushed the relatively conservative Howard University into adopting many more progressive policies and changes around greater representation and inclusion of Black students and Black culture across gender, skin color, and social class.

Paula also launched her literary career while at Howard, working on the newspaper of the University starting her first year and later becoming editor of the University’s literary magazine, The Promethean, in the year 1967. In 1969, she got her Bachelor of Arts.

In the year 1975, she traveled to South Africa where she was able to meet leaders of the Anti-Apartheid Movement. Paula is still described as an agent for change based on her commitment to ensuring African American women’s inclusion in discussions about American history and feminism especially.

Paula worked as a book editor at Random House and a journalist who has written rather extensively on national and international issues. She has been published by the New York Times, the Washington Post, Jeune Afrique, The Nation, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and Sage: A Scholarly Journal on Black Women, as well as others.

Before attaining the post of professor of Africana studies at Smith College, Giddings taught at Spelman College, where she was one of the United Negro Fund Distinguished Scholar. As well as at Princeton and Duke Universities and at Douglass College/Rutgers University, as the Laurie Chair in Women’s Studies.

For “Ida: A Sword Among Lions”, Paula received the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights Outstanding Book Award, the Letitia Woods Brown Book Prize, and was the Nonfiction winner of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association Literary Award in 2009. It also won The Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography and was one of the finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

“When and Where I Enter” is a non-fiction book published in the year 1984. Not only is this an eloquent testament to all the unsung contributions of individual women to this nation, but to the collective activism which has elevated the race and women’s movements that define all of our times.

From Ida B. Wells to the very first black Presidential candidate, Shirley Chisholm. And from the struggle for suffrage and equal protections under the law to the anti-lynching movement Giddings tells the stories of black women able to transcend the dual discrimination of gender and race. And whose legacy inspires modern generations.

Forty years after the Voting Rights Act’s passing, when phrases such as ‘wrongful imprisonment’ and ‘affirmative action’ are rallying cries, Giddings words resonate now more than they ever did.

“In Search of Sisterhood” is a non-fiction book published in the year 1988. This history of the biggest black women’s organization in America isn’t only the story of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority (DST), however, it is also the telling of the increasing involvement of black women in the social, political, and economic affairs in America. Founded during a time when liberal arts education was seen widely as dangerous, futile, or impractical for black people, particularly women, DST is, according to Paula, a ‘compelling reflection of black women’s aspirations for society and themselves’.

Paula notes that unlike the other organizations that had racial goals, Delta Sigma Theta was founded to benefit and change individuals rather than society. As a sorority, it was founded in order to bring women together as sisters, however at the same time, to address divisive and often class-related problems that black women were faced with in society. There is, Giddings believed, a tension between these goals that makes Delta Sigma Theta a fascinating microcosm of black women’s struggles as well as their organizations.

Readers liked all of the detailed information that is provided about this sorority and overall, the book offers a great introduction to this sorority.

“Ida: A Sword Among Lions” is a non-fiction book published in the year 2009. From a thinker that Maya Angelou has praised for shining “a bright light on women’s lives left in the shadows of history”, comes this definitive biography on Ida B. Wells. She was a crusading journalist and pioneer in the fight for women’s suffrage and against lynchings and segregation.

Ida B. Wells was born into slavery and grew up in the Victorian age. But she emerged, through fierce political battles and progressive thinking, as the very first modern black woman in the history of the nation.

She began her activist career when she attempted to segregate a first-class railway car in Memphis. After getting thrown bodily off the car, Ida wrote about this incident for black Baptist papers, beginning her career as a journalist. However her most abiding battle would be the one against lynching, a crime in which she saw every theme she held dearest coalesce: the law, sexuality, and race.

This does a great job of giving insight and readers gained a much great appreciation for Wells’ crusade against white mob lynching of blacks in the twentieth century. This book is history at its best: intelligent, clear, and moving; which makes this a book just as priceless as the subject it is looking at.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Paula J. Giddings

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