Jones makes extensive use of primary and secondary materials in her book. She uses magazine articles, newspapers, books, government reports (especially the census) and statistics, manuscripts, oral histories and scholarly essays. She cites over one thousand sources. Jones uses a feminist perspective for much of her analysis, which comes through in many places. She touches on the the contrast between white and black women of the 50s and 60s, the Feminine Mystic and the "ideal woman" concept. She presents evidence from Ebony magazine which applauded black women for their careers, whereas Ladies Home Journal, which claimed white women with careers were suffering from personality disorders." There are some limitations to her study: she does not engage in a comprehensive discussion of education or religious institutions (which she admits herself), and she only touches briefly on free black women's experiences during slavery and northern and other non-southern blacks experiences are in large part ignored.Jones challenges some ideas of scholars: especially the idea that black families are matriarchal in nature. However, she is up front about the limitations and in fact she encourages further study of the subject. Much of women's labor history has often focused on white womens experiences , and more work needs to be done on how being female and black, has contributed to black women's work, family and community experiences.
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