Hidden Histories of Women in the New South

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As women's history has embraced the contributions of multi-culturalism, crucial intersections between gender and race, ideology and identity, and work and life have converged to enrich the mainstream of American history.  The parameters that once defined women's history have broadened from the experiences of just a few white middle-class women to include those of women from all walks of life.

Representing some of the best and most recent scholarly work in the field, the subjects of these essays reflect the diversity of southern women's lives.  Women in prisons, in mental institutions, in labor unions; women activists for temperance, suffrage, birth control, and civil rights; women at home and in public life: all add their individual histories to help reshape the terrain of the American past.

Southern women's history contines to make pathbreaking strides, and students of women's history, southern history, ethnic studies, sociology, and psychology will find this volume's contributions invaluable.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Interesting and subtle insights into the ways in which region, race, and culture play against gender issues."—Arkansas Historical Quarterly

"I cannot speak highly enough about this book. Not only have the editors done a fine job of seamlessly joining these essays into what seems like an extended conversation, but the authors themselves have displayed something more than the usual scholarly talent for locating relevant materials. The reader will find that the footnotes of each article form almost echoing essays and are a gold mine of primary historical materials that, in many cases, went unremarked and unexplored before the authors located them."—Southern Quarterly

Ten essays explore the experiences of women in the southern US between the 1870s and the 1960s whose lives have gone largely unnoticed by historians. They include women in mental institutions, prisons, and isolated rural areas; and activists for temperance, suffrage, birth control and civil rights. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826209580
  • Publisher: University of Missouri Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/1994
  • Series: SOUTHERN WOMEN Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 253
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Virginia Bernhard is Professor and Chair of History at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas.  She is the author of several books, including A Durable Fire.

Betty Brandon is Professor of History at the University of South Alabama in Mobile.  Her work has appeared in the Encyclopedia of Southern History and the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture.

Elizabeth Fox-Genovese is Elenore Raoul Professor of Humanities at Emory University in Atlanta.  Her publications include Feminism Without Illusions.

Theda Perdue is Professor of History at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.  She is the author of Slavery and the Evolution of Cherokee Society, 1540-1865.

Elizabeth H. Turner is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Houston-Downtown.  She is the author of the forthcoming book Women's Culture and Community:  Religion and Reform in Galveston, 1880-1920.

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Table of Contents

Editors' Introduction 1
Institutions of Social Control
The "Human World" of Black Women in Alabama Prisons, 1870-1900 11
"A Far Greater Menace": Feebleminded Females in the South, 1900-1940 31
"Better Babies": Birth Control in Arkansas during the 1930s 52
Gender Roles and Government
They Called It "Motherhood": Dallas Women and Public Life, 1895-1918 71
"Ideals of Government, of Home, and of Women": The Ideology of Southern White Antisuffragism 96
"Both in the Field, Each with a Plow": Race and Gender in USDA Policy, 1907-1929 114
"Go Ahead and Do All You Can": Southern Progressives and Alabama Home Demonstration Clubs, 1914-1940 134
Racial Cooperation and Reform Movements
"A Melting Time": Black Women, White Women, and the WCTU in North Carolina, 1880-1900 153
"We'll Take Our Stand": Race, Class, and Gender in the Southern Student Organizing Committee, 1964-1969 173
"More Than a Lady": Ruby Doris Smith Robinson and Black Women's Leadership in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee 204
Afterword 224
Notes on the Contributors 239
Index 241
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