African American Women Chemists
Booklist Reviews 2011 November #2
Histories written about African Americans in science generally focus on men—think George Washington Carver and Percy Julian. But Brown, herself a chemist, corrects that oversight with this book that focuses exclusively on black women in the field of chemistry. Drawing on historical archives and interviews, Brown presents portraits of 26 black women chemists from the 1800s to the late 1960s, when civil rights laws opened the science professions. She includes a brief biography of each woman, detailing the particular obstacles faced, including sexism and racism, as well as the challenges of balancing a demanding career and the desire for marriage and families. Brown begins with the pioneers, including Josephine Silone Yates, the first woman to gain a professorship at historically black Lincoln Institute. She goes on to profile women in academia, the government, and corporations. She ends with resources to inspire even more young black women to consider careers in chemistry. This is an interesting collection of profiles, many of them firsts, of women who broke barriers in a demanding field. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.
LJ Reviews 2012 January #1
In the opening chapter of this book, Brown (former faculty associate, New Jersey Inst. of Technology) concedes that much has been written about African American women in science. However, she explains that many of these resources are scattered across compilations and aren't as targeted. Two exceptions come to mind: Wini Warren's Black Women Scientists in the United States and Diann Jordan's Sisters in Science: Conversations with Black Women Scientists on Race, Gender, and Their Passion for Science. Like Warren's work, Brown's reference provides biographical profiles of 26 women and includes an appendix listing publications by the subjects in chronological order. Brown's compilation advances the effort to document the accomplishments of African American women in science. The essays are easy to read and not only highlight the women's achievements but also detail obstacles—such as poverty, prejudice, or segregation—that the women overcame to reach their goals. VERDICT Recommended for academic library collections, especially those with strong history-of-science and/or ethnic studies collections.—Faye A. Chadwell, Oregon State Univ. Libs., Corvallis[Page 128]. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.