• Black Women, Black Love

  • America's War on African American Marriage
  • By: Dianne M. Stewart
  • Narrated by: Tracey Leigh
  • Length: 9 hrs and 20 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (43 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this analysis of social history, examine the complex lineage of America's oppression of Black companionship.

According to the 2010 US census, more than 70 percent of Black women in America are unmarried. Black Women, Black Love reveals how four centuries of laws, policies, and customs have created that crisis.

Dianne Stewart begins in the colonial era, when slave owners denied Blacks the right to marry, divided families, and, in many cases, raped enslaved women and girls. Later, during Reconstruction and the ensuing decades, violence split up couples again as millions embarked on the Great Migration north, where the welfare system mandated that women remain single in order to receive government support. And no institution has forbidden Black love as effectively as the prison-industrial complex, which removes Black men en masse from the pool of marriageable partners.

Prodigiously researched and deeply felt, Black Women, Black Love reveals how white supremacy has systematically broken the heart of Black America, and it proposes strategies for dismantling the structural forces that have plagued Black love and marriage for centuries.

©2020 Dianne M. Stewart (P)2020 Seal Press
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

"Black Women, Black Love is profoundly necessary and long overdue. Dianne M. Stewart decimates popular myths about Black love and marriage. She reveals through data, history, and compelling storytelling that structural racism and patriarchy -- beginning with slavery and continuing through racist welfare policies, mass incarceration, and more -- have consistently thwarted the efforts of Black women to marry and sustain healthy, loving relationships." (Michelle Alexander, New York Times best-selling author of The New Jim Crow)

"Dianne M. Stewart's compelling Black Women, Black Love is the first Black feminist/womanist analysis of the structural barriers that make marriage for heterosexual African American women elusive, even impossible, within a racist, sexist America. In painstaking detail, she makes the provocative case that our persistent marital dilemmas over four centuries should be seen as a hidden civil rights issue. Her exploration of the concept of 'forbidden Black love' is nuanced, moving, and attentive to a broad range of variables. Personal narratives enhance her solid, though unsettling, arguments about America's persistent war on Black marriage, as well as 'undesired singlehood' for generations of women who love Black men." (Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Anna Julia Cooper Professor of Women's Studies, Spelman College, and coauthor of Gender Talk)

"Powerful, persuasive, and devastatingly haunting. Dianne M. Stewart has placed a historical and structural lens on the most personal, intimate areas of our lives and brought them into clear focus." (Carol Anderson, New York Times best-selling author of White Rage)

What listeners say about Black Women, Black Love

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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Cherry picked feminism

Usual black feminist writing. Black women are the eternal victims. The same old story of black women being single because of the poor selection of black men.

The hid old tropes in a sea of cherry picked studies and historical facts. Don't bother reading this if you're a black man.

3 people found this helpful

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Love Love

Loved it so much bought the audio version and the hard back! Kudos to the author for writing about a topic that the African Americans so often do not want to talk about

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Worth every listening minute

This was a very enlightening book about black love I encourage you all to listen to this book it was awesome.

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If you are a black woman—- listen to this!!!!!!

My goodness… well researched, powerful, will change your mindset. Make sure you takes notes while listening to this audiobook.

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Must Read

A must read to understand the history of the attack on black love and black families

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Informative, but you need your dictionary if you don’t have a huge vocabulary.

The first two chapters were very hard to listen to. I Felt like I was traumatizing my soul with the first two chapters. The remaining chapters were very informative about how the black family has been destroyed slowly over many decades. This book has inspired me to strive for better things in life. This book is written for someone with a huge vocabulary, so you may need to have your dictionary handy to refer to frequently.

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History that has to always be talked about

Some may feel the information and the way it's presented is something that is always repeated and it's the same tropes a lot of black men and women are aware of. I come from the point of view that this is information that has to be always be talked about. The reason being, if we stop talking about it, then we will stop talking about it.

Black Women, Black Love is one of those books when you first start to listen to it, is extremely hard to get through, mainly because it is a history of slavery and all of the harshnesses that black women and men went through. The opening prologue really will test you and if you can and want to handle the information. If you think this isn't worth it or feel that the information is cherry-picked to support a narrative, then this won't be the book for you.

The narrator's tone was straightforward, did add certain inflections at certain times to change the mood of the text. For me, it made sense, can't say whether or not, I found it necessary or not. It didn't take away from my listening experience in general.
If you feel that you want to learn more about the problems that black women and for that fact, black men are continually struggling through, then take the time and give this a listen.

Overall this book is quality information and very worth the time to listen to it. It is history that can't be forgotten and always needs to be remembered. Dianne Stewart does attempt to provide some ideas on improving the lives of black women for a better future, but even she does realize it's not an easy fix. Even with that being the case, she does attempt to come up with some solutions, which can be looked at for the future and hopefully beyond.

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Ok....

I think the narrator took away from this book for me. I fought to keep from turning this audio book off due to the narrator.

The book’s substance, at times, was pretty informative but for the most part I felt like it was rambling. It appears to be well researched & put together though.