A 2023 Choice Reviews Outstanding Academic Title
Overworked and Undervalued: Black Women and Success in America is a collection of essays written by Black female scholars, educators, and students as well as public policy, behavioral, and mental health professionals. The contributors’ share their experiences and frustrations with White America which continues to demand excessive labor and one-sided relationships of Black women while it simultaneously diminishes them. The book describes the ongoing struggle for women of color in general, but Black women in particular, which derives from the experience that only certain parts of our identities are deemed acceptable. The essays reflect on the events of the last few years and the toll the related stress has taken on each author. As a whole, the book offers its readers an opportunity to gain insight into these women’s experiences and to find their place in supporting the Black women in their lives.
Rosalyn D. Davis is licensed psychologist and clinical associate professor of psychology at Indiana University Kokomo.
Sharon L. Bowman is professor and chair in the Department of Counseling Psychology, Social Psychology, and Counseling at Ball State University.
Chapter 1: Shine Brightly, Diamonds
Chapter 2: For the Black Girls with Difficult Names and Big Personalities, You are Seen and Loved
Rosalyn D. Davis
Chapter 3: We Don’t Owe You a Smile
Chapter 4: Find Your Replacements
Rosalyn D. Davis and Shantel Gaillard
Chapter 5: I Need No Qualifiers
Chapter 6: This is America
Maqubè Reese and Rosalyn D. Davis
Chapter 7: Black Girl Magic Won’t Kill Us
Rana Dotson and Rosalyn D. Davis
Chapter 8: Please Tell Us How to Fix the Problem of the Problematic Women of Color
Chapter 9: Random Reflections at 3 A.M.
Sharon L. Bowman
In this collection, editors Davis and Bowman present an ensemble of Black women professionals offering their perspectives on gendered racism in America. This text is refreshingly conversational while underscoring its main points with scholarly citations—which in itself speaks to a recurring refrain throughout the book: Black women have been writing about intersectional oppression for quite some time. The book is a demonstration of Black women’s scholarly creativity, in that contributing authors use narrative form in unique ways. The personal examples throughout the book span a lifetime, from early childhood to the present. This collection serves as a powerful reminder that certain concepts with "fancy" academic labels (for example, "stereotype threat" and "privilege" will be familiar to many readers) represent pervasive lived experiences in everyday, ordinary interactions. The editors conclude their introduction with an incredibly practical application section, something often glaringly missing from other texts on similar topics. They outline how various different types of readers can and should use the text—explicitly addressing a range of possible readers from administrators to employers, including educators and lay (white) people, and of course, Black women. Highly recommended. All readers.
In Overworked and Undervalued: Black Women and Success, the authors illuminate readers by presenting the personal stories of a group of Black women professionals who shed light on the dismal statistics surrounding Black women’s rates of suicide and health care problems relative to our racial and gender counterparts. At various points in their ascension, they faced unfair, egregious acts of racial/gender discrimination and bias. They have been questioned by teachers, supervisors, and managers about their mere presence in certain settings, not to mention their presumed competence. Even at senior levels, they continue to experience the dehumanizing acts. The authors also recount the impacts of these ‘slights’ on their esteem, confidence, and sense of humanity. The biggest ‘slight’ is the one that lurks beneath the surface of individual acts by a single individual or group and entails the ubiquitous expectation that they work well beyond the call of duty—an expectation they found themselves personally embodying… This book is a gift to those who want to know the essence of psychological liberation.
10/26/23, ChoiceReviews: This title was included in the “Top 75 Community College Titles: October 2023” feature.