The Maid Narratives: Black Domestics and White Families in the Jim Crow South

The Maid Narratives: Black Domestics and White Families in the Jim Crow South

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by Katherine Van Wormer, David Walter Jackson, Charletta Sudduth
     
 

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The Maid Narratives shares the memories of black domestic workers and the white families they served, uncovering the often intimate relationships between maid and mistress. Based on interviews with over fifty people — both white and black — these stories deliver a personal and powerful message about resilience and resistance in the face of oppression in

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Overview

The Maid Narratives shares the memories of black domestic workers and the white families they served, uncovering the often intimate relationships between maid and mistress. Based on interviews with over fifty people — both white and black — these stories deliver a personal and powerful message about resilience and resistance in the face of oppression in the Jim Crow South.

The housekeepers, caretakers, sharecroppers, and cooks who share their experiences in The Maid Narratives ultimately moved away during the Great Migration. Their perspectives as servants who left for better opportunities outside of the South offer an original telling of physical and psychological survival in a racially oppressive caste system: Vinella Byrd, for instance, from Pine Bluff, Arkansas, recalls how a farmer she worked for would not allow her to clean her hands in the family's wash pan. These narratives are complemented by the voices of white women, such as Flora Templeton Stuart, from New Orleans, who remembers her maid fondly but realizes that she knew little about her life. Like Stuart, many of the white narrators remain troubled by the racial norms of the time. Viewed as a whole, the book presents varied, rich, and detailed accounts, often tragic, and sometimes humorous. The Maid Narratives reveals, across racial lines, shared hardships, strong emotional ties, and inspiring strength.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807149683
Publisher:
Louisiana State University Press
Publication date:
01/01/2012
Series:
Southern Literary Studies Series
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
844,007
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Katherine van Wormer, who grew up in New Orleans, is a sociologist and professor of social work at the University of Northern Iowa. She is the author or coauthor of sixteen books, including Death by Domestic Violence; Human Behavior and the Social Environment; Confronting Oppression, Restoring Justice; and Addiction Treatment: A Strengths Perspective.

Charletta Sudduth is an early-childhood consultant for the Waterloo Community School District. She earned a master's in social work and a doctorate in education, curriculum, and instruction from the University of Northern Iowa.

David W. Jackson III is assistant professor in the Department of African and African-American Studies at Metropolitan State College of Denver. He is co-producer of the oral video history project African-American Voices of the Cedar Valley. In 2006, he received the Trio Achiever of the Year award for the State of Iowa.

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The Maid Narratives: Black Domestics and White Families in the Jim Crow South 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago