His Eye is on the Sparrow

His Eye is on the Sparrow Ethel Waters s His Eye is on the Sparrow stands as perhaps the greatest autobiography of a black female performer capturing both the horror and the joy of the African American woman s experience thro

  • Title: His Eye is on the Sparrow
  • Author: Ethel Waters Charles Samuels
  • ISBN: 9780306804779
  • Page: 116
  • Format: Paperback
  • Ethel Waters s His Eye is on the Sparrow stands as perhaps the greatest autobiography of a black female performer, capturing both the horror and the joy of the African American woman s experience through the often bitter yet always forgiving voice of an indomitable spirit This edition is supplemented with a new historical preface and over a dozen photographs.

    One thought on “His Eye is on the Sparrow”

    1. An autobiography of Ethel Waters, His Eye Is On The Sparrow was published in 1951 when Waters was staring in Member of the Wedding. The book was a best seller.I found a ragged and yellowed 1951 copy of the book on a free shelf at a library used book sale several years ago. I did not really know anything about Ethel Waters. Photographs from her stage plays inside the cover showed scenes from Mamba's Daughters, Pinky, The Member of the Wedding, and As Thousands Cheer. I brought the book home with [...]

    2. Now, here was a woman! What a voice, even in writing. This is a powerhouse of a memoir about what drives art. As vaudeville tell-all and window into early 20th century black music it is fascinating. The story of her life is pure blues. Waters' incisive social commentary and deep compassion are what really grabbed me and put this book right in the same league as Bound for Glory.

    3. I enjoyed this book's an autobiography about Ethel Waters. She was an African American performer, who was born at the turn of the 20th century and lived / became famous in spite of poverty, a rough / unpredictable upbringing, and all of the set-backs of racial tension / civil rights. She was raised in the roughest of circumstances and was a tough lady- both in action and attitude. She had natural talent and slowly worked her way up through the ranks to become a famous blues singer, Broadway thea [...]

    4. Miss. Waters grew up in the Jim Crow south among whores, pimps, thieves, alcoholics, drug addicts, gangsters and a world of much violence. Yet she survived to write her story about her love of God and how she overcame many an obstacle in the entertainment business and in life.Now, sixty-one years after writing the book - I have questions. First, the voice of Miss Waters and her ghost writer are very distinct. Sometimes the writing is very raw, clearly Miss Waters' perspective, and sometimes the [...]

    5. Ethel Waters had a life that is almost too unbelievable to be real. Reading her autobiography now, over 60 years after it was published, one wonders how much of it is really true. I don't doubt her harrowing experiences on stage in Jim Crow America in the 1920s and '30s, but, if Waters was writing today, would she have portrayed herself as such a perfect role model? Despite the fact that she grew up among whores, thieves, alcoholics, and addicts, she drank only milk in speakeasies and she held s [...]

    6. absolutely fabulous book detailing the life of a young African American woman born and raised in poverty who makes her way to the big time using her beautiful voice! The name-dropping can be quite laborious at times but I believe Ethel included this so as to extend recognition to her fellow Black performers of the time. Overall it is a fascinating life story of an immensely strong and passionate woman!

    7. This book belonged to my grandmother and sat her shelf for many years. It is a treasure waiting for the right time to be read. The writing is honest and without reservation of telling it how it really was for an up and coming black singer during a time of persecution and inequality. Fantastically done and is a treasure that will kept in the family for generations to come.

    8. This was such an impressionable book. It gave an inside look into the real hardship of life for a black woman growing up in the slums in the early 1900's. Her faith in God and unwillingness to be ashamed was inspirational. I am thankful for Ms. Waters taking the time to write her life story. I cannot recommend this book enough.

    9. I am not a non-fiction reader, I do read some but rarely. And when I do read one I'm a tough customer. But I really enjoyed this. Took me awhile to read it but that was just because I've been doing less reading what with summer and all. Anyway, four star (heh, probably would of been five if I dug non-fiction) rating. I had only ever known of Water's by watching the movie adaptation of Carson McCullers's "The Member of the Wedding" enpedia/wiki/The_Memb. Those that know me here know what that boo [...]

    10. NYR 29 Sept 2011see also Ed Murrow's 1954 televised interview with Ethel Waters on YouTube, which briefly mentions this book. As far as I can tell, I have not yet ordered this bookviewed by Robert GottliebSounds worth reading.Written late in her career in 1951 "first popular entertainer to have produced a serious autobiography that was not only authentic but a best seller"Note in this review mentions Donald Bogle's thorough recent bio of Waters, "Heat Wave". Bogle is the acknowledge leading expe [...]

    11. Honest and full of grace, His Eye is on the Sparrow offers insight into a time and place almost 100 years old, Black vaudeville, overt racism, and musical styles that have since come out of fashion. But from the poverty she describes that defined her childhood, to the emotion that she applied to her music, to the struggle she continued to face even after she made it big, there is a timeless quality to this book. Because of her writing as well as her singing voice, she will be remembered, perhaps [...]

    12. I have been a fan of Ethel Waters' since I saw her in the movies Pinky , and A Member of The Wedding (one of my all-time fave movies also with Julie Harris and Brandon DeWilde).I didn't care for the writing style of this book, it seemed like she was mostly listing dates, names, and places of people she performed with.The parts I did like were, when she talked more intimately about herself, her family and her religion

    13. Intense, raw, beautiful, hopeful, unforgettable."Your imagination can carry you just so far. Only those who have been hurt deeply can understand what pain is, or humiliation. Only those who are being burned know what fire is like. I sang 'Stormy Weather' from the depths of the private hell in which I was being crushed and suffocated." - page 220

    14. This autobiography is devastating. Ethel Waters tells the story of her childhood in the slums with the bluntly objective eye of a James Ellroy. "At thirteen I was married, and at fourteen I was separated and on my own." Jesus.

    15. It gave a lot of info about music, black performers and musicians in the early part of the century, most of the names weren't familiar to me, and at times it was hard to relate. But it was well-written, and since I do remember Ethel Waters, I'm glad I read it.

    16. This is a wonderful book! Ethel Waters shares her life. She was a woman who rose above her circumstances in life. Her story is inspirational and encouraging.

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