Friday, November 22, 2013

Miss Anne in Harlem by Carla Kaplan

When I saw this book on the review list and read the little synop, I thought how interesting. This is something that I never had heard of and I am fascinated with the women of the 1920-30’s..thank you, Downtown Abbey.  Women started to come into their own during those times and it wasn’t easy. So many obstacles, and yet these white women took on even more as they made their way into the lives of black men and women. Intriguing.
First off, it is a big, thick book full of history. Also, you should know that “Miss Anne” is just a name that was given to white women who got involved in black politics, art and philanthropy during the twenties & thirties.
Kaplan gives us history behind several of these women, one of which was Nancy Cunard, heiress to the steamship company wealth.  Another Josephine Schuyler was the daughter of a Klansman and wife to journalist George Schuyler, who was black.
These women lent their money and time and in some cases notoriety to black causes. They seemed full of good intentions but were they taken seriously? Not always according to Kaplan.  Some were viewed as agitators, some as women who were sexually deviant. 

This book, a history book really, was so full of information that it took me a while to read it. If you are looking for some mind-ful stimulation this winter as we get “stuck inside” by the weather, try this one.                                                                                                                                    

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