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A behind-the-scenes look into the lives of successful middle- and upper-middle class African American women, the groundbreaking HAVING IT ALL? is sure to spark discussions from cocktail parties to boardrooms. In a single generation, black women have made extraordinary strides academically, professionally, and financially. They've entered the workplace at a far greater rate than white women; increased their enrollment in law schools and graduate programs by 120 percent; and many are now running top companies, or in some cases, the country. Isn't that enough? Not necessarily. With sharp insight, award-winning journalist Veronica Chambers explores the challenges and stereotypes she and other African American women continue to endure, and answers the question most often posed to her: What does success mean for black women? Twenty-first century black women draw their inspiration from a wide range of sources: Claire Huxtable to Audrey Hepburn, snowboarding to basketball, Gloria Steinem to bell hooks. They choose what they like. Yet they are misunderstood by mainstream America and lack an accurate portrayal in the media of their lives. HAVING IT ALL? interweaves the thoughts and reflections of more than fifty women who occupy this territory. The voices range from Thelma Golden, chief curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem, to a Silicon Valley executive, to medical and legal professionals, and stay-at-home "mocha moms." Successful black women today want it all: marriage, motherhood, engaging work, and prosperity. The difference is that they come to the table with the strength, courage and wisdom of black women ancestors who-did-it-all, even when they didn't-have-it-all. What has gone so undocumented by the media is that modern black women are coming up with creative, satisfying answers to the juggling act that all women face. Veronica Chambers chronicles this topic for the first time in her absorbing, riveting and groundbreaking book HAVING IT ALL?
In a society that puts so much emphasis on perfection, Veronica Chambers mischievously casts aside the guilt-inducing litany of "shoulda, coulda, woulda" that seems to define modern-day life and replaces it with a resounding call to live with "foolish bravery. " Refreshingly open about the personal failures and limitations that once weighed her down with shame, Chambers describes how she turned her less-than-perfect qualities into sources of delight and satisfaction. From belting out off-key renditions ...
Forget the stereotypes. Today's Japanese women are shattering them -- breaking the bonds of tradition and dramatically transforming their culture. Shopping-crazed schoolgirls in Hello Kitty costumes and the Harajuku girls Gwen Stefani helped make so popular have grabbed the media's attention. But as critically acclaimed author Veronica Chambers has discovered through years of returning to Japan and interviewing Japanese women, the more interesting story is that of the legions of everyday women -- from the office suites to radio and TV studios to the worlds of art and fashion and on to the halls of government -- who have kicked off a revolution in their country. Japanese men hardly know what has hit them. In a single generation, women in Japan have rewritten the rules in both the bedroom and the boardroom. Not a day goes by in Japan that a powerful woman doesn't make the front page of the newspapers. In the face of still-fierce sexism, a new breed of women is breaking through the "rice paper ceiling" of Japan's salary-man dominated corporate culture. The women are traveling the world -- while the men stay at home -- and returning with a cosmopolitan sophistication that is injecting an edgy, stylish internationalism into Japanese life. So many women are happily delaying marriage into their thirties -- labeled "losing dogs" and yet loving their liberated lives -- that the country's birth rate is in crisis. With her keen eye for all facets of Japanese life, Veronica Chambers travels through the exciting world of Japan's new modern women to introduce these "kickboxing geishas" and the stories of their lives: the wildly popular young hip-hop DJ; the TV chef who is also a government minister; the entrepreneur who founded a market research firm specializing in charting the tastes of the teenage girls driving the country's GNC -- "gross national cool"; and the Osaka assembly-woman who came out publicly as a lesbian -- the first openly gay politician in the country. Taking readers deep into these women's lives and giving the lie to the condescending stereotypes, Chambers reveals the vibrant, dynamic, and fascinating true story of the Japanese women we've never met. Kickboxing Geishas is an entrancing journey into the exciting, bold, stylish new Japan these women are making.
"Veronica Chambers grew up in Brooklyn in the 1970s, a girl who mastered the whirling helixes of double-dutch jump rope with the same ease and finesse she brought to her schoolwork, her often troubled family life, and the demands of being overachieving and underprivileged. "Until I was ten," she writes, "three things were true. We always had a car. We always had a backyard. And we lived with my father." Hard times set in when Veronica's father quit his job to become a full-time nightclub performer and soon after quit the family, too." "The job of raising Veronica and her little brother, Malcolm X Chambers, was left exclusively to her mother, a Panamanian immigrant whose secretary's salary just barely met the needs of her family. From a young age, Veronica understood that the best she could do for her mother was to be a perfect child - to rewrite her Christmas wish lists to her mother's budget, to look after her difficult brother, to get by on her own." "More than a family memoir, Mama's Girl gives voice to the first generation of African-Americans to come of age in the post-Civil Rights era."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Marisol and Magdalena are mejores amigas -- best friends -- who live in Brooklyn. They have grown up with their extended families, a group of colorful, eccentric relatives who are forever trying to reach the girls the ways of Panama, their native land. For Marisol, a Latinegra -- a black and a Latina -- child, life is especially challenging as she tries to balance several heritages. When Marisol's mother sends her to live in Panama with her abuela, the move puts Marisol's American values to the test, and also tests her friendship with Magdalena. But going to Panama also presents an opportunity for Marisol to search for her father, Lucho, a man she has never met.
A dazzling fiction debut from the author of Mama's Girl, Miss Black America is the warm and tender story of Angela, a young girl growing up in 1970s Brooklyn. Angela goes to school one ordinary day and returns home to find her glamorous and fiercely independent mother gone. Her magician father, Teddo, left to raise Angela alone, insists on keeping Melanie's disappearance shrouded in mystery. As Angela grows to womanhood and struggles to understand her mother's motivation for escaping the bonds of her family, she wryly observes, "My father was a magician, but my mother was the real Houdini. " A universal story that is both finely tuned and elegant, Miss Black America captures the intricacies, pleasures, contradictions, and complexities at the heart of every family. Spare and finely told, this novel will seep beneath your skin and stay with you long after the last page has been turned.
Marisol and Magdalena are making plans for their quinceañera parties, their fifteenth birthday celebration that they've been waiting for their whole lives. They've promised each other that they will be the dama de honor at each other's quince. But quinceañeras are expensive, and Marisol's mother doesn't know if she can afford a party at all, especially not one as extravagant as Magdalena's. And while Marisol was away in Panama, Magdalena became friends with two girls Marisol can't stand. Marisol wonders if her year in Panama changed her -- maybe she isn't cool or rich enough anymore to be Magda's friend.
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