A Bound Woman Is a Dangerous Thing: The Incarceration of African American Women from Harriet Tubman to Sandra Bland
A Bound Woman Is a Dangerous Thing: The Incarceration of African American Women from Harriet Tubman to Sandra Bland by
A Publishers Weekly Top 10 History Title for
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“It is costly to stay free and appear / sane.”
Harriet Tubman to Assata Shakur, Ida B. Wells to Sandra Bland and Black Lives
Matter, black women freedom fighters have braved violence, scorn, despair, and
isolation in order to lodge their protests. In A Bound Woman Is a Dangerous
Thing, DaMaris Hill honors their experiences with at times harrowing, at times
hopeful responses to her heroes, illustrated with black-and-white photographs
For black American women, the experience of being bound has taken many forms: from the bondage of slavery to the Reconstruction-era criminalization of women; from the brutal constraints of Jim Crow to our own era’s prison industrial complex, where between 1980 and 2014, the number of incarcerated women increased by 700%.* For those women who lived and died resisting the dehumanization of confinement--physical, social, intellectual--the threat of being bound was real, constant, and lethal.
In A Bound Woman Is a Dangerous Thing, Hill presents bitter, unflinching history that artfully captures the personas of these captivating, bound yet unbridled African-American women. Hill’s passionate odes to Zora Neale Hurston, Lucille Clifton, Fannie Lou Hamer, Grace Jones, Eartha Kitt, and others also celebrate the modern-day inheritors of their load and light, binding history, author, and reader in an essential legacy of struggle.