Women 's Americ Refocusing The Past By Gerda Lerner Essay

1317 Words Sep 27th, 2016 6 Pages
Within the field of history, perspective is vital; it influences what or who is remembered, how it is transcribed, and how it is analyzed. Addressing the concept of perspective, Linda Kerber and Jane Sherron De Hart, editors of the 1991 edition Women’s America: Refocusing the Past, outline Gerda Lerner’s four steps of women’s history writing, and then proceed to illustrate a brief history of American women and the perceptions that surround them. In particular, they focus on the erasure of their history, invisible labor, and the undervaluation of women’s work. Judith Carney, in her essay “The African Women Who Preceded Uncle Ben: Black Rice in Carolina,” echoes many of the tenants set forth by the introduction, but also goes beyond to tackle race and slavery in the context of gender, something that is largely unspoken about in Kerber and De Hart’s essay. For the topic, she explores the experience of female African slaves in the Carolina colony, describing how history has erased their influence in rice production, discredited their labor, and hidden their extensive knowledge.
In Women’s America, the opening line states, “One of the most effective ways in which dominant groups maintain their power is by depriving the people they dominate of the knowledge of their own history.” Carney takes this knowledge and infuses it into the writing of “The African Women Who Preceded Uncle Ben.” In her title, she points out that the history of African rice-producing women has been obscured…

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