Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.
This history and group biography of several of the strong minded but sometimes misguided white women who inserted themselves into the Harlem Renaissance is a fascinating look at the rich culture of the time, black and white. Though the 1920's is thought of as an era of freethinking flappers, views of race were rigid and and punishments for crossing the color line were harsh. These "Miss Anne" white women wanted to help bring about a paradigm shift, but they met with a lot of resistance from both sides then, and are largely forgotten today.
Miss Anne in Harlem: The White Women of the Black Renaissance is a scholarly book with end-notes and a bibliography, but it is anything but dry. The women's stories are told in sensitive but unvarnished detail and their lives are varied and highly interesting. I picked up the book because I wanted to read about forward thinking novelist Fannie Hurst and rebel British aristocrat Nancy Cunard, but the other women profiled include organizers, educators, and authors whose struggles, choices, personal lives, and public personas are just as compelling.