Wednesday, July 1, 2020

{Book Review} "A Shining Thread of Hope"

“A Shining Thread of Hope” by Darlene Clark Hine and Kathleen Thompson is an insightful non-fiction of the history of Black Woman in America.

I picked up “A Shining Thread of Hope” as a library recommendation after “Blackout Tuesday” on social media in response to the Black Lives Matter call for justice against George Floyd’s inhumane death.

I didn’t know what to expect when I began “A Shining Thread of Hope.” I wanted to learn more about Black history to better understand the racist struggle still plaguing our country today. I acknowledge my privilege to be able to be silent about such injustices this long, but I awaken now.

To have a voice against racism, I must learn so I can understand the many struggles Blacks face in our society. “A Shining Thread of Hope” proved a great teacher. Reviewing Black history, particularly from the women’s perspective, allows me to witness the undeniable strength in a group of people that have been unceasingly oppressed. They relied on community, learned skills and creative solutions to provide hope in times of anguish.

“A Shining Thread of Hope” follows Black women from the time they sailed miserable on boats from Africa to become slaves in Colonial America all the way to the present day. Hine and Thompson unfold Black history like the weaves of a tapestry with women in the center. Black women’s names shape the history of America as leaders in the community and foundations for strength and hope.

The impact of Sojourner Truth’s words in 1870, are highly significant today. “So I am for keeping the thing going while things are stirring; because if we wait til it is still, it will take a great while to get it going again” (p 157).

The stirrings are happening again. Reading “A Shining Thread of Hope” opened my eyes to the realization that the prejudice and discrimination from days of slavery never really went away.

During the 1960s, Journalist Ida Well-Barnett stated, “we have at last come to a point in our race history where we must do something for ourselves and do it now. We must educate the white people out of their 250 years of slave history.”

Politics play a large role in “A Shining Thread of Hope,” as it does in Black history. However, Hines and Thompson also discuss the role of Black women’s influence in art, music and literature. Each time period and theme offers women leading the way in small communities and on a national scale. As time goes on, more names are added with more influence.

The hero in this story of American History is the fundamental values of the community led by Black women. True satisfaction comes from taking care of your family and those around you. Your purpose is to those around you; however, your self-worth, comes from within.

“The value another person puts on you is of no importance, unless that person is one whom you value and respect” (p 308).

The theme of self-worth spoke to me as a woman and as a creative personality. This inner confidence is one of the many inspiring lessons we can learn from Black women’s history.

I thoroughly enjoyed “A Shining Thread of Hope.” Hines and Thompson deliver a relevant, vibrant history of Black women in America. I recommend “A Shining Thread of Hope” to anyone wanting to learn more about the mentality and culture of Black women. When obstacles seem insurmountable, Black women show us the way to persevere. They not only survive, but thrive.

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