Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman
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Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  153 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Originally published in 1978, this book caused a storm of controversy as Micheke Wallace blasted the masculinist bias of the black politics that emerged from the sixties. She described how women remained marginalized by the patriarchal culture of Black Power and the ways in which a genuine female subjectivity was blocked by the traditional myths of black womanhood. In 1990...more
Paperback, 268 pages
Published April 17th 1999 by Verso (first published 1978)
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This is possibly the nonfiction book I've most appreciated/enjoyed reading for school. I'm writing an essay critiquing 'traditional' (ie, Christian) marriage from feminist and economic perspectives. I didn't see how the book applied to this subject at first, but the second half of the book ('The Myth of the Superwoman') focuses on the family. I realized I was coming at my subject from a very white-feminist place, and that is not at all a good thing...

Wallace balances the personal and political b...more
In the course of an essay I'm writing I refer to the Myth of the Black Superwoman. I've been aware of the term for a while, but I didn't know it's author or origins, so I thought I'd better go to the source.

Wallace is a good writer and her history of life under slavery is informative and persuasive. The subject of black male-female relations in the 1960s is beyond my expertise, but Wallace tends to make sweeping generalizations that invite some skepticism.

Just how prevalent were black male-white...more
Lee Ann
This is an intersting read, as the version I had included a new forward by the author, who was able to revist some of her ideas. At the time of its original publication, Wallace received a lot of flack for her theories/views, and she admits in the forward that as time as passes (older, perhaps wiser), her views have changed, but not so radically that she no longer believes in the core of this work.

I think this book begins to scratch at larger conversations about relationships and community. Too...more
Pat Cromwell
I don't have this version, I have a paperback that is nearly 30 years old! I read it back in the late 70's or early 80's but I remember it well. The book was considered a controversial examination of the UNEVEN relationship between Black Women and Black Men. I purchased the book after reading an article in the black male oriented magazine Ebony (no that is not a typo). The article was critical of the author and her convictions. As a matter of fact, check out Ebony of the 70’s and 80’s and you’ll...more
Ralowe Ampu
this book is fun. i'm taking my time with it. it's very enjoyable.

it definitely lives within the idea that "rape in the black community is the rape of the black man." it is troubling thinking of diaspora, considering how definitions of gender roles maintain this continuum through the fetishization of blackness in struggle. this is one of the more enjoyable things i've read. i like somewhat anecdotal divergence in the trouble girls home that led to michele becoming a feminist through glimpse of a...more
Mar 15, 2014 Amber rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: everyone
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Michele Wallace presents an interesting interpretation of black men, black women, and black male/female relationships. I learned a lot from this book that I didn't know.I'd highly suggest this book to all interested in black power rhetoric, the black male position as oppressed and oppressor, an in-depth understanding of the "Strong black woman" stereotype and a different take on black male/female relationships. Definitely worth the read.
Even though this book is centered more on my mother’s generation, it was extremely helpful in understanding why Black feminism (or womanism) is needed... (full review at
I just read The Myth of the Superwoman.
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