African Americans in the South: Issues of Race, Class, and Gender

Overview

This volume reflects a new commitment by American anthropologists to engage in what has been called the anthropology of racism: the analysis of systems of inequality based on biological differences. Comprising nine papers and related commentary, African Americans in the South examines racism, class stratification, and sexism as they bear on the African American struggle for social justice, equality, and cultural identity in the South.

The essays fall into three broad categories:...

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1992 Hardcover VG/VG 0820313769. Hardbound copy still in publisher's original shrink-wrap.;

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Overview

This volume reflects a new commitment by American anthropologists to engage in what has been called the anthropology of racism: the analysis of systems of inequality based on biological differences. Comprising nine papers and related commentary, African Americans in the South examines racism, class stratification, and sexism as they bear on the African American struggle for social justice, equality, and cultural identity in the South.

The essays fall into three broad categories: economic survival strategies, health and reproductive problems, and religious responses to the larger society. Essays in the first category discuss African-American teen pregnancy and mutual aid societies. The second group focuses on health practices and knowledge among blacks in a Georgia town, African-American midwifery in North Carolina, an AIDS education program in a Tennessee city, and eating habits in rural North Carolina. The essays in the last category emphasize the diversity of the African-American religious experience by focusing on black Pentecostals, Jews, and Mormons in the South.

Together these writings constitute an important, concerted first engagement of issues crucial to an understanding of the history and social life of the South.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
These 10 essays presented at a Southern Anthropological Society symposium address economics, health and religion, aiming to demystify what the editors call ``a political economy that exploits African Americans.'' While most essays are too detailed for the general reader and a few predictably criticize structural racism, others offer intriguing analysis. Holly Mathews documents how North Carolina officials slowly eliminated lay midwifes, mostly black women in rural areas, even as the state finally concluded that such traditional practices could combat a high infant mortality rate. Tony Whitehead suggests that the high-risk diet of many Southern blacks is based not on ignorance but on traditional patterns and can provide a badge of pride and identity. Daryl White and O. Kendall White assert that the once-segregated Mormon church has gained black adherents because it proclaims the American gospel of progress and offers immediate participation in religious activity, though they caution that it reinforces the patriarchal family. Baer and Jones are anthropology academics at the universities of Arkansas and Louisville, respectively. (Mar.)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Hans A. Baer is a professor of anthropology at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock. His books include The Black Spiritual Movement: A Religious Response to Racism. Yvonne Jones is an associate professor of anthropology and chairperson of the Department of Pan-African Studies at the University of Louisville. She has conducted extensive research on African American entrepreneurial activities.

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Table of Contents

Foreword: The South in US and US in the South
Introduction: Economic Survival, Health Maintenance, and Religious Identity in the South 1
African American Teen Pregnancy in the American South 14
Mutual Aid Societies and Economic Development: Survival Efforts 26
Reproduction and Transformation of Health Praxis and Knowledge Among Southern Blacks 34
Killing the Medical Self-Help Tradition Among African Americans: The Case of Lay Midwifery in North Carolina, 1912-1983 60
Community AIDS Education: Trials and Tribulations in Raising Consciousness for Prevention 79
In Search of Soul Food and Meaning: Culture, Food, and Health 94
The Socio-Religious Development of the Church of God in Christ 111
The Southern Origin of Black Judaism 123
African American Mormons in the South 139
Epilogue 154
References 161
Contributors 179
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