Jezebelle's Book Club discussion

Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America
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Sister Citizen > Your Favorite and Least Favorite Chapter

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message 1: by Annie (last edited Feb 13, 2014 11:46AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Annie | 101 comments Mod
I finally finished this book last night. I have to say, this was one of the 'hardest' books I've read in years. I was constantly having to run online to see more about a novel/play she is referencing and I wanted to know more about some of the events and people.
Did any particular chapter or section stick out to you when you finished this book? My favorite by far was the section on Michelle Obama. I'm glad she was at the end because I was really able to see exactly HOW awesome Michelle really is. I mean, I've always thought she was great but I didn't realize how much so.

ETA: I just found this article on Slate today and seems like it goes along nicely with my favorite chapter:

How DARE Michelle Obama wear an appropriate outfit to a State Dinner.

message 2: by El (new) - rated it 3 stars

El The chapter on Michelle Obama was definitely good. Unfortunately I had a library copy that I've since returned, so it's hard for me to go back and pinpoint actual statements, but bear with me here.

I'd say my least favorite chapter was about the church which might have more to do with me than the inclusion in the book, though I do feel that was her weakest section. My eyes do tend to glaze over when religion comes up in great detail.

I'm not sure I have a specific favorite chapter, but I will say the sections involving the three stereotypes and also the chapter on shame were the most interesting to me. I also noted in my review that when I had done some YouTube research on Harris-Perry (because I've not watched her show or listened to her very much), I found a lot of clips that had references to her being "hysterical". The clips mostly feature her at her most passionate about certain topics, and taken out of context can seem a bit overly dramatic and histrionic, and I think it's unfortunate yet interesting that this is the case - since this is exactly the sort of thing that Harris-Perry discusses in her book. Basically she is portrayed (at least on YouTube!) as Sapphire, ie angry.

I love how many references she makes to other sources - I found myself in the Notes at the back of the book frequently while I read, and I plan to go back to the library to flip through it again and take better notes of things I want to check out based on Harris-Perry's references.

Annie | 101 comments Mod
The Church chapter was interesting. I wasn't sure how to feel afterwards. I was raised in the Episcopalian church and so the idea of women leaders isn't weird to me. I felt so sad that women who found a space for spiritual healing and support were still second class. As a non-PoC and non-Baptist, I feel like this is where I should tread carefully. Changes I'd like to see are going to have to come from in-group.

That is such a unsurprising bummer about MHP being portrayed as the irrational, hysterical Sapphire on YouTube. She came off to me as a very pleasant woman on the Colbert Report and in the majority of what I see on MSNBC, I think she's pretty calm and put-together. Shame that being passionate about pointing out injustice and advocating for a more equal society makes her just another 'typical angry black woman'.

Carla | 14 comments A great read! Some of the chapters with more academic language, like the chapter that was mainly results from the focus groups, were a little harder to get through.

One thing I want to read more about is the larger feminist movement's inclusion or exclusion of black women. Maybe that is coming up in our next book!

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