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Whatever Happened to Daddy's Little Girl?: The Impact of Fatherlessness on Black Women
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Published:
Random House Publishing Group 2000
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Description
What happens to a little girl who grows up without a father? Can she ever feel truly loved and fully alive? Does she ever heal—or is she doomed to live a wounded, fragmented life and to pass her wounds down to her own children? Fatherlessness afflicts nearly half the households in America, and it has reached epidemic proportions in the African-American community, with especially devastating consequences for black women. In this powerful, searingly intimate book, accomplished journalist, poet, and fiction writer Jonetta Rose Barras breaks the code of silence and gives voice to the experiences of America's fatherless women—starting with herself. "We are legions—a choir of wounded—listen to the dirge we sing," writes Barras of the millions of black women like her who lost, either through abandonment, rejection, poverty, or death, the men who gave them life. A father is the first man in a girl's life—the first man to look in her eyes, protect her, care for her, love her unconditionally. Fathers fashion their daughters as expertly and as powerfully as they do their sons. When a girl loses this man, she grows up with an ache that nothing else can soothe. Psychologists have found that fatherless daughters are far more likely to suffer from debilitating rage, depression, abuse, and addictions; they tend to seek "sexual healing" through promiscuity or anti-intimate behavior and end up fearing or despising the men whose love they crave.Barras knows from personal experience the traps and the fury of being a black fatherless daughter, and she makes her own life story the heart and soul of her book, alternating chapters of spellbinding memoir with the stories she has gathered from women all over the country.Passionate and shockingly frank, Whatever Happened to Daddy's Little Girl is the first book to explore the plight of America's fatherless daughters from the unique perspective of the African-American community. Like Hope Edelman's New York Times bestseller Motherless Daughters, this brilliant volume gives all fatherless daughters the knowledge that they are not alone and the courage to overcome the hidden pain they have suffered for so long.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
09/01/2000
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780345444400
ASIN:
B000FC1KYS
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Jonetta Rose Barras. (2000). Whatever Happened to Daddy's Little Girl?: The Impact of Fatherlessness on Black Women. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Jonetta Rose Barras. 2000. Whatever Happened to Daddy's Little Girl?: The Impact of Fatherlessness On Black Women. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Jonetta Rose Barras, Whatever Happened to Daddy's Little Girl?: The Impact of Fatherlessness On Black Women. Random House Publishing Group, 2000.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Jonetta Rose Barras. Whatever Happened to Daddy's Little Girl?: The Impact of Fatherlessness On Black Women. Random House Publishing Group, 2000. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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        Jonetta Rose Barras is the author of the critically acclaimed book The Last of the Black Emperors: The Hollow Comeback of Marion Barry in the New Age of Black Leaders. She is also a columnist for the Washington Times and former associate editor of the Washington City Paper. Her writings have also appeared in the Washington Post, USA Today, American Visions, The New Republic, and The New Democrat. She has appeared as a commentator for CNN, C-SPAN, and PBS and is widely considered one of the freshest female voices speaking for the African-American community.
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publishDate
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title
Whatever Happened to Daddy's Little Girl?
fullDescription
What happens to a little girl who grows up without a father? Can she ever feel truly loved and fully alive? Does she ever heal—or is she doomed to live a wounded, fragmented life and to pass her wounds down to her own children? Fatherlessness afflicts nearly half the households in America, and it has reached epidemic proportions in the African-American community, with especially devastating consequences for black women. In this powerful, searingly intimate book, accomplished journalist, poet, and fiction writer Jonetta Rose Barras breaks the code of silence and gives voice to the experiences of America's fatherless women—starting with herself.
"We are legions—a choir of wounded—listen to the dirge we sing," writes Barras of the millions of black women like her who lost, either through abandonment, rejection, poverty, or death, the men who gave them life. A father is the first man in a girl's life—the first man to look in her eyes, protect her, care for her, love her unconditionally. Fathers fashion their daughters as expertly and as powerfully as they do their sons. When a girl loses this man, she grows up with an ache that nothing else can soothe. Psychologists have found that fatherless daughters are far more likely to suffer from debilitating rage, depression, abuse, and addictions; they tend to seek "sexual healing" through promiscuity or anti-intimate behavior and end up fearing or despising the men whose love they crave.
Barras knows from personal experience the traps and the fury of being a black fatherless daughter, and she makes her own life story the heart and soul of her book, alternating chapters of spellbinding memoir with the stories she has gathered from women all over the country.
Passionate and shockingly frank, Whatever Happened to Daddy's Little Girl is the first book to explore the plight of America's fatherless daughters from the unique perspective of the African-American community. Like Hope Edelman's New York Times bestseller Motherless Daughters, this brilliant volume gives all fatherless daughters the knowledge that they are not alone and the courage to overcome the hidden pain they have suffered for so long.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Chicago Tribune
      • content: "SEARING AND INTIMATE."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Washington Times
      • content: "VIVID, PIERCING . . . THIS BOOK HAS GREAT VALUE. . . . [Barras] speaks with the passion and penetrating detail of one who has firsthand experience."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        May 1, 2000
        Integrating a personal narrative with other women's testimonies and research findings with self-help remedies, Barras sheds light on the profound impact fatherlessness can have on black women. In her 30s, Barras learned from her mother that the man she had thought was her father was not. Though stunned by the news, Barras also believed it explained much of the loneliness she endured as a child. She began to try to come to terms with the guilt she felt not only about her father's departure, but about her ruptured relationships with two surrogate fathers, each of whom left her mother while Barras was still a girl. She also recounts her heartrending efforts to mend broken trust with her mother while forging a bond with her own fatherless daughter. The study deepens in subsequent chapters, as Barras intertwines the diverse voices of other black women who grew up without their fathers. Unfortunately, her ambitious effort is marred by overly broad conclusions. She attributes a vast range of dysfunctional behaviors--from promiscuous sexual relationships and a longing for motherhood to the inability to trust and uncontrolled fits of "rage, anger, depression"--to fatherless women. And her reliance on simple solutions at times minimizes the issue's gravity. Her work is stronger when she locates the chasm between black men and women in gender war stereotypes of "good women" and "bad men" and affirmative action policies that have allowed black women upward mobility while moving black men out of the workforce. Her study should stir useful debate. Agent, Victoria Sanders.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        February 1, 2000
        Offering a personal perspective, journalist Barras (The Last of the Black Emperors) here identifies a "fatherless woman syndrome" that includes rage, addiction, and sexual acting-out.

        Copyright 2000 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        May 15, 2000
        Journalist Barras, author of the Marion Barry profile "The Last of the Black Emperors" (1998), grew up abandoned by the man she thought was her father but who, she later learned, actually was her stepfather. From that personal basis, she examines the widespread phenomenon of fatherlessness, particularly as it affects black women. Nearly half of American households are headed by single women, African American households more often than those of other demographic groups. Barras talked with other women who had lost their fathers, whether through death, divorce, or abandonment, and with psychologists. She shows that fatherless daughters respond with reactions ranging from clinginess to exaggerated independence. She describes the fatherless woman syndrome, which consists of fears of rejection, abandonment, and commitment and includes sexual dysfunctions ranging from promiscuity to aversion to intimacy. She also offers a 25-question self-examination for women who think they suffer the fatherless woman syndrome and advises on how to heal the pain of fatherlessness. ((Reviewed May 15, 2000))(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2000, American Library Association.)

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shortDescription
What happens to a little girl who grows up without a father? Can she ever feel truly loved and fully alive? Does she ever heal--or is she doomed to live a wounded, fragmented life and to pass her wounds down to her own children? Fatherlessness afflicts nearly half the households in America, and it has reached epidemic proportions in the African-American community, with especially devastating consequences for black women. In this powerful, searingly intimate book, accomplished journalist, poet, and fiction writer Jonetta Rose Barras breaks the code of silence and gives voice to the experiences of America's fatherless women--starting with herself.

"We are legions--a choir of wounded--listen to the dirge we sing," writes Barras of the millions of black women like her who lost, either through abandonment, rejection, poverty, or death, the men who gave them life. A father is the first man in a girl's life--the first man to look in her eyes, protect her, care for her, love her...
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