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Black Women and Narratives of Resilience, Revised Edition


Robin Boylorn

Sweetwater: Black Women and Narratives of Resilience is a multi-generational story of growing up black and female in the rural south. At times heartbreaking, at times humorous, Sweetwater captures the artistry, strength, language and creativity shared by first-hand accounts of black women in small-town North Carolina during the twentieth century. The book uncovers the versatility and universality of black women’s experiences and their exceptional capacity to love in the face of adversity, and hope in the midst of calamity. Sweetwater is about the black female experience as it relates to friendship, family, spirituality, poverty, education, addiction, mental illness, romantic relationships, and everyday survival. The merging themes show the resilience and resistance that black women exhibit while negotiating the intersecting oppressions of racism, classism, and sexism.

Written from field notes and memory, the author reveals the complexities of black women’s lived experiences by exposing the communicative and interpersonal choices black women make through storytelling. Narrative inquiry and black feminism are offered as creative educational tools for discussing how and why black women’s singular and interior lives are culturally and globally significant.

This revised edition preserves the original narratives but features new content including re-views, re-visions and re-considerations for re-writing autoethnography.

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Boylorn, Robin M., author. Title: Sweetwater: Black women and narratives of resilience / Robin Boylorn. Description: Revised edition. | New York: Peter Lang, 2017. Series: Black studies and critical thinking; vol. 100 | ISSN 1947-5985 Includes bibliographical references. Identifiers: LCCN 2017005924 | ISBN 978-1-4331-3493-7 (paperback: alk. paper) ISBN 978-1-4331-4222-2 (ebook pdf) | ISBN 978-1-4331-4223-9 (epub) ISBN 978-1-4331-4224-6 (mobi) Subjects: LCSH: African American women—Southern States—Social conditions. Rural women—Southern States. | Boylorn, Robin M., 1978—Childhood and youth. African American girls—North Carolina—Biography. Rural girls—North Carolina—Biography. | Southern States—Rural conditions. North Carolina—Rural conditions. | Ethnology—North Carolina. African Americans—Poetry. | Storytelling—Social aspects—North Carolina. Classification: LCC E185.86 .B6496 2017 | DDC 305.48/896073075—dc23 LC record available at DOI 10.3726/b11027 Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at

© 2017 Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., New York 29 Broadway, 18th floor, New York, NY 10006 All rights reserved. Reprint or reproduction, even partially, in all forms such as microfilm, xerography, microfiche, microcard, and offset strictly prohibited.

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