The Biographies and Autobiographies of USA’s Famous Black Women – Part 2

There have been plenty of black women in the United States that have been thrust to the front of the media spotlight, as the country was one of the first in the developed world to undergo multiculturalism. It is all well documented: the struggles for equality that both the black community and their women encountered through history; but the progress that was made in the States was to the benefit of other black people around the world.

Grace Jones

At some period in time, other nations, especially in Europe, had to deal with the same issues, but at least they have had the benefit of seeing what had been happening in the United States. For the people of the States, they were the first to deal with blending white and black people together into one harmonious society. From many of the books that have been written, it is clear that as well as having to deal with racism and segregation, there has also been a battle to cope with sexism and classism that has been encountered, even in the civil rights parties. The battle for equality for black women has been no simple journey and this has been reflected in many of the stories that have been written.

The academic Angela Davies

In fact there are people like Angela Davies who have fought for equal rights through the academic path. In her book “An autobiography” she tells her story of her journey from being a member of the Communist Party of USA, to being an arms purchaser for the Black Panthers, to where she is  today as a Professor at the University of California.

As well as fighting for black women’s rights she combined this with taking an interest in Marxist politics and the rights for people serving time in prisons. Her influence was so strong that when ex-president Ronald Regan was governor of California, he unsuccessfully attempted to have her barred from teaching at any Californian university. Another black woman who benefited from a good education was Florynce Kennedy. In the biography “Florynce Flo Kennedy – The Life of a Black Feminist Radical” by Sherie M Randolph, it told how her path was influenced by her being rejected to study law by Columbia University. However, when she threatened to sue the University, they accepted her.

In her trademark outfit Florynce Kennedy

Throughout her career, she combined being a lawyer with also being an activist. She was a forerunner in using “intersectionality” as an explanation of the difficulties that minorities encountered in the United States. The confidence that she gained from her academic back ground was reflected in her appearance, often wearing cowboy outfits and even appearing in films.

The journey of the black woman in the States is also told by the super model and singer Grace Jones. In her autobiography “I’ll Never Write My Memoirs” she tells of her story from the strict upbringing she experienced in Jamaica to the career that she enjoyed in both America and Europe.

Along its path, Jones would regularly be in the media spotlight as she challenged the treatment of black women both of herself and others around her. Her appearance was one that other black women would try to emulate, as it signified beauty strength and power. Overcoming barriers along the way, she is now a role model for many young black stars making their way in show business. The fight for equality for America’s black women has been fought in a number of different ways. There are many books that have now been published that tell the stories of the sacrifices that many women have made that have resulted in great change today.

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