All Our Kin: Strategies For Survival In A Black Community
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All Our Kin: Strategies For Survival In A Black Community

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  219 ratings  ·  15 reviews
"This landmark study debunked the misconception that poor families were unstable and disorganized. Here is the chronicle of a young white woman’s sojourn into The Flats, an African-American ghetto comm"
Paperback, 192 pages
Published August 4th 1983 by Basic Books (first published November 30th 1973)
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Wow- this book single-handedly changed the way I view people based on their circumstances. Learning about inner-city poverty and the long lines of generational poverty is heartbreaking. It is a must read to learn about other people, and how multicultural aspects shape who a person is. Even 40 years later, we are still struggling with overcoming the same aspects Stack tried to conquer by doing this research. I feel more research needs to be done on this; specifically with no link to politics.
Not great not terrible. Nothing in this book is mindblowing although granted it was published 40 years ago so maybe in the 70s this was groundbreaking stuff. I wished the author focused on one or two kin networks to discuss residential patterns, kin ownership of children, etc. I found myself getting lost about who was who and what relationships they had to each other. If there were less families used I think that would have helped comprehension of the subjects discussed. To me the most interesti...more
I'm torn with this book. Stack does an excellent job in describing the methods poor blacks have to surviving in their communities. Yet, I felt like she portrayed many of these people as extremely promiscuous. Yes, the larger society plans a huge role in keeping them in poverty, as Stack stated over and over again. BUT these habits they've formed for surviving in these urban areas are self-harming. They create an endless cycle that keeps groups in poverty. It's an excellent inside look at the sta...more
This is a classic ethnography from the 70s of a poor black community in the Midwest. Not sure how I came to have it on my shelf but I was happy to find it- It's interesting to read about how the people in this community depend on each other in such structured ways. I also was really interested in the way children are valued and taken care of by whomever is able to care for them, so sometimes the grandparents or aunts or friends become the mothers/fathers- like they actually call themselves the m...more
This book was responsible for literally changing the way that I viewed the problems of the poor in our country, and consequently my world view in general.

It's amazing how powerful it can be to simply listen to the voices of those that are struggling rather than to speak on their behalf in ignorance of the real issues they are facing. This book gives a voice to those people and a perspective that is too often ignored.
This book made some interesting insights into the experience of urban poverty but fell short of analysis into issues that, 40 years later, continue to plague communities across the country. The author has succeeded in illuminating these issues, giving voices to people whose plight is not typically talked about or heard, as well as shattering some stereotypes about family structure in black communities.
This ethnography is the feminist answer to the 1965 Moynihan Report in which Moynihan "blames the victim" for creating a culture of poverty. Stack demonstrates the complex and strategic ways that Black women in "the Flats" took care of their families, fictive and otherwise, while coping with poverty in the early 1970s. A classic!
20130121 For Social Anthropology 3400 (core requirement), Winter Q 2013.

Quick read (especially after Malinowski). Really dated. Pales in comparison to a more detailed and sophisticated study like "Unequal Childhoods". I'll be interested to discover the instructor's motivation for assigning it to this class.
Rachel Newhouse
One of my favorite reads of all time. This book opened my eyes to poverty and the difficulties that come with being poor in a new way. Short, quick read . .. highly recommended.
Dec 30, 2007 Lindsay marked it as to-read
I started reading this for Feminist Methodologies in graduate school, some day I want to finish it.
Chuck Jackson
Great book though in twenty years of owning it I still haven't made it all the way through.
Bonnie Jeanne
Jan 25, 2009 Bonnie Jeanne marked it as to-read
All Our Kin: Strategies for Survival in a Black Community by Carol B. Stack (1997)
Study of the importance of families and networking.
Nov 21, 2009 Jonathan added it
Shelves: anthropology
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GWS301@Bowdoin: All Our Kin 13 13 Apr 09, 2012 06:46AM  
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