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Deborah Gray White is not only an author but also a renowned associate professor teaching Africana Studies and History at RutgersUniversity. Dr. White is also a well-known author of a variety of books including Too Heavy a Load that features mainly the struggle of the black women (2). There is no doubt that the Ph. D. Holder from the University of Illinois Chicago is one of the best female writers worldwide. This is evident through the award accorded to her by Leita Brown Memorial Book Prize for her book titled Ar’n’t I A Woman?, which also features the struggles that the black women underwent to attain equality besides breaking away from the yokes of exploitation. Dr. White’s outstanding narration mainly features the African American oppression and survival as their fellow male counterparts looked down upon them.
Without a doubt, Dr. White’s work is not easily forgettable as it features an excellent analysis of how race and gender between white and black women has affected the development of historical attitudes that currently remains conflictual (3). Because of the highly accredited knowledge and proficiency that Dr. White has in the field of history and Africana studies she has been able to make contributions to two other articles, namely, Visible Women: New Essays on American Activism and Before Freedom came: African-American Life in the Antebellum South. Certainly, Dr. White’s interest in achieving outstanding performance as an associate professor in the field of history and Africana studies has led her to become the co-director of RutgersCenter for Historical Analysis at RutgersUniversity where she works.
As a legendary author, Dr. White mainly features on the history and revolution of women from oppression, discrimination, and male chauvinism before they finally acquired their freedom and become liberal just like their male counterparts. To many people, Dr. White stands out as an exceptional author as she features a subject that is in her line of the profession as an associate professor of history and Africana studies. Even though, to most of the authors the field of history seems to be one that is complex to feature, Dr. White has undoubtedly done justice to it by featuring the African American women as they defend, explain and define their rich history that is remarkable as it is featured by struggles against their male counterparts (9). Dr. White’s main interest in the subject of the struggles of the black women is to correlate how the Americans became racial conscious unlike the black who practiced chauvinism.
Certainly, Dr. White is inspired by her own identity as a black woman as she brings out the oppression and humiliation that her fellow African American women are subdued to by their male counterparts (5). As a result, Dr. White features the history of the persistent struggle by the black women, especially, the African-American women who initiated a strategy of planned resistance against negative stereotypes, racism, and male chauvinism that was adamant in the society. The author highlights how the black women were beheld as inferior by their male counterparts and, therefore, denied the women freedom and rights that would allow them to lead a liberal lifestyle (9). The author brings out a picture of the turn of events in a century that brought about the outrageous support for civil rights, civil liberties, and women's rights.
Just like other outstanding historians, Dr. White looks out at how the African American woman has undergone humiliation because of negative stereotypes, racism, and male chauvinism. By featuring a clear history marked by the struggle of black women to break away from exploitation and attain equality Dr. White depicts a picture of how far the African American women have come in order to achieve freedom (5). Dr. White goes further to highlight how the black women have faced many dilemmas in their continuous pursuit to bring out equality between them and their male counterparts who look down upon them.
Dr. White shows her proficiency in the presentation of a remarkable history of the Black women who were subdued to harsh conditions of life as she presents her work in the form of an organizational history. The narration of Dr. White features issues of negative stereotypes, racism, and male chauvinism that has continuously subjected the African American woman into a life of dismay as they painfully struggled to attain a unique identity. All through the story, Dr. White focuses on the ills that the African American women go through as they struggle to hold to their gender and racial identity intently (4). On the other hand, the author of the book also keenly highlights the unstoppable pull and push of the plans of white women and black men as a way of suppressing the inferior African American women.
Dr. White features the intent outcome of the continuous struggle of the black women as they try to explain and define themselves. She keenly highlights the women's suffering in order to achieve civil rights, women's rights, and civil liberties from their male counterparts (9). Dr. White among other black women, especially, those from the African American origin stands out for her outlook on the history of black women in achieving liberty from the yokes of male chauvinism, racism, and negative stereotypes through their consistent struggle.
Dr. White is an exceptional author who in spite of the complexity of the subject of history of the black women comes up with a wonderful historical novel that gives the reader an incredible history of the African American women. At the beginning of her narration, Dr. White reflects upon the work of Fannie Williams who describes how an African American woman was denied the chance to hold a position of high responsibility as she used struggle to come out victorious (12). It is quite evident that even though these posts were considered impudence to vie for or the absurdity if the black women had hope of capturing it, the young women were not deterred as they moved on to achieve their goal.
The clear description of the intent struggles of black women like Anna Julia that make history of the current African American woman is evident in Dr. White’s narration. She describes how the black women could not even easily achieve their higher-level education at American universities because they were discriminated (9). On the other hand, after achieving the high-level academic qualification they faced another hurdle of lack of employment as their fellow women were engaged in the field and domestic work.
Although the black women underwent a lot of struggle and pain to overcome the continuous male chauvinism, racism, and negative stereotypes, especially, in the field of studies, they united to establish movements that would see them succeed, and gain just, and fair treatment from their fellow black counterparts besides the whites. Dr. White all through the narration tenderly illuminates black women's excruciating struggle through movements as they sought to hold their racial and gender identities intact in the society. These movements of the black women of African American origin focused on saving their fellow black women as they were taught when young to look out for ways to improve the lives from the abject captivity of suffering in the field and domestic activities (12). As a result, commendable success of the African American women resulted in the evolution of civil rights, women's rights, and civil liberties, thus, giving themselves a unique gender, and race identity.
Dr. White’s argument on how the African American women struggled to beat the odds of racial and gender discrimination from white men and women as well as the black men is justifiable. Dr. White’s style of narration comes out as one that is persuasive as it gives an understanding reflection of the African American women struggle in order to achieve their own unique identity. Dr. White uses such features as the continuous struggle of the black women in order to achieve a Ph.D certification from the American University as well as the hard work in the field and domestic activities which indicated the need for reforms (3). As one of the black women the author describes how the African-Americans faced execution, mob fierceness, discrimination, and marginalization. The women’s movement arose to fight for their fellow black women.
I found Dr. White’s book Too Heavy a Load one of the most wonderful historical novel that describes the struggle of the African American women for achieving equal recognision with the other members of society. From the beginning of the narration, the author speaks out loudly as she portrays her support for the greatest struggle to free her fellow black women from the bondages of racial and gender discrimination. I find her description of how the black historians were cautioned not to write about myths to be interesting as it is one of the many negative stereotypes of the blacks.
In my opinion, Dr. White’s focus on the negative side of the life of the African American women does not seem to bring a justifiable outlook of their history. This is because the author focuses on the ills and struggles of the black women and does not highlight what were the major causes behind the existent male chauvinism, racism, and negative stereotypes in the society.
Given that, Too Heavy a Load is a book that focuses on the history of the African American women; century-long struggle against negative stereotype, racism and male chauvinism in order to get a unique identity. It is a story that I would recommend anybody interested in the black women history to read. As an elicit author, Dr. White’s narration is applicable for readers of all levels as she brings out the history in an interesting and simple language that is easily understandable. There is no doubt that Dr. White did justice to her fellow black women as she used her history and Africana studies expertise to come up with a wonderful historical novel.
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