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Memphis Tennessee Garrison: The Remarkable Story of a Black Appalachian Woman
     

Memphis Tennessee Garrison: The Remarkable Story of a Black Appalachian Woman

by Memphis Tennessee Garrison, Ancella R. Bickley (Contribution by), Lynda Ann Ewen (Contribution by), Joe W. Trotter (Contribution by)
 
As an Appalachian African-American woman, Memphis Tennessee Garrison belonged to a category of persons who have been triply ignored by historians. The daughter of former slaves, she moved to Gary, West Virginia, at the age of eight and died at the age of 98 in Huntington, West Virginia. The coalfields of McDowell county were among the richest seams in the nation and

Overview

As an Appalachian African-American woman, Memphis Tennessee Garrison belonged to a category of persons who have been triply ignored by historians. The daughter of former slaves, she moved to Gary, West Virginia, at the age of eight and died at the age of 98 in Huntington, West Virginia. The coalfields of McDowell county were among the richest seams in the nation and Gary, home of U.S. Steel, was one of the largest mines in the country. As Garrison makes clear, the backbone of that workforce - those who laid the railroad tracks, manned the coke ovens, and dug the coal - were black miners. These miners and their families created communities that became the centers of the struggle for unions, better education, and expanded civil rights and Memphis Tennessee Garrison, an innovative teacher, administrative worker at U.S. Steel, and vice-president of the National Board of the NAACP at the height of the civil rights struggle (1963-66) was at the center of all of these struggles. In many ways, this oral history, based on interview transcripts, is the untold and multidimensional story of African-American life in a West Virginia company town, as seen through the eyes of a remarkable woman.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"One of the first books to show how Appalachian blacks — like those in the Cotton Belt South and the Northern migrants — successfully pitted their intellect against historical realities and contradiction, and won!"

— William H. Turner, co-editor of Blacks in Appalachia

"Anecdotally rich. Memphis Tennessee Garrison: The Remarkable Story of a Black Appalachian Woman fills the gap in historical accounts of mining. Of particular interest is her work on the NAACP and her recollections of its less-remembered cultural mission in the black community — organizing the Negro Artists Series — as well as its political one."

Publishers Weekly

Booknews
Originally recorded at Marshall University in 1969, Memphis Tennessee Garrison's memoirs tell of her life, her career as a teacher, and her political activities in the early civil rights movement. Based on those recordings, this book describes her childhood in Gary, a West Virginian coal mining town populated largely by black and immigrant workers. It also describes her participation in the NAACP, bringing black performers to the area in the 1920s, starting a Girl Scout troop for black girls in the 1950s, and serving on the NAACP's board of directors in the 1960s. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780821413739
Publisher:
Ohio University Press
Publication date:
06/28/2001
Series:
Ethnicity & Gender In Appalach Series
Edition description:
1
Pages:
282
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Ancella Bickley is a retired professor of English and Vice President for Academic Affairs at West Virginia State College.

Lynda Ann Ewen is a professor of sociology at Marshall University, where she directs the Oral History of Appalachia Program and is co-director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Gender in Appalachia.

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