The Black woman in the African American Diaspora is often depicted as superwoman- a person of remarkable resource and survival skills that has elevated her statue in all aspects of her walk. Is this mere myth or a fallacy with stereotypical overtones? Sherie Parks’ new book, Fierce Angels opens wide-ranging debate on black female prowess as well as giving stark analogies and parallels to what is already considered status quo. She opines that the image of the strong black woman has taken hits in recent times and hasn’t been all the rage in some circles depending on different perceptions and the elevated status of equality along gender lines. She also surmises that because of age-old notions, there’s burdensome weight applicable to the accolades because it has come to be expected that black women will endure all means of strife in tending to the needs of others, and most notably her family. In my opinion, she does more than a credible job in researching her material and it shows in the attention to detail in several annotated references. To wit: She offers historical data and challenges the basic stereotypes of the unmovable black woman, relative to interviews. There’s a personal aspect to this volume that lends itself to a sense of poignant proportions of the things she shares based on her own experiences. and recollections of her own sometimes painful experiences.
That black woman in your midst, no matter what the theme has to be looked at in subjective ways for objectivity to be expressed in great detail for a book of this magnitude. As such, much time is attributed to the examination of the important images of the black female in popular culture, in what is being seen in the media, and even in how they are portrayed in other national enclaves. And yes, right here in America her legacy abounds -- teeming with vestiges of how she saves the day while still upholding what should be inherent in men. But then again, this is not the time to bash the male gender, inasmuch as passion and compassion are at the forefront of being more than feminine! Parks offers a compelling analysis of the toll of the strong image on women goes deep and gives us a signature bearings on informative data that can be recalled for meaningful validation.
Fierce Angels opens wide a window on black female power: both the reverence for it and what it has wrought. I want every black woman—and those who care about black women and want to understand us more deeply—to be as nourished as I was by the reading of this book and its revelations. I loved the book and found it to be authoritative but not overbearing. Good data, if dispensed right can lessen the impact of it being overly academic. It challenged me to look at the women in my life different with no less respect. If this is the reason for it to be accepted in all channels of our society then it was a work much needed. My favorite passage in the book is her analogy of the Dark Feminine where she lays foundation to the aspect of the fertility of darkness—the abyss out of which the world was spoken into existence, the primordial creator in ancient civilizations, and the essence of ‘Mother Earth’ in the midst of it all. The true reality in this is her bold immanence at the beginning of, during, and long after slavery.
The strong black woman has pedigree with ancestors who gave her courage and the audacity to be bold in achieving her mettle. This is most evident in how the author doesn’t allow all of what she wrote to be one-dimensional. She astutely recalls the personal angst she’s endured herself. I loved the way she gives good copy to support systems holding blatant stereotypes in place—supported internally and externally when things are taken for granted. Fierce Angels is a must read and will prove to be provocative and debatable. My key point is me asking the question: Is the strong black woman is to the detriment of anybody not giving her credence in what she has always done for superlative recognition...and most importantly, how will it effect her destiny in the coming ages as she coalesces favorably with self, family and community? I recommend this book highly and gave it 5 out of 5 stars!