Willie Mae / Edition 1

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More About This Textbook

Overview


First published in 1958 and selected by the New York Times as one of the best books of the year, Willie Mae is a first-person account of a black woman's life and her experiences as a domestic worker in a succession of southern households in the first half of the century.

Powerful and poignant, sometimes funny and always honest, Willie Mae is a testament to the courage and strength of a generation of women who struggled to survive with dignity and humanity in the years before the civil rights movement.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Willie Mae speaks with a voice of wisdom, suffering, truth, and joy. It is a voice gentle on our ears but ruthless on our consciences—a voice worth heeding, still and again, in these edgy times."--Bill Moyers

"One of the first books to bring the contemporary problems of African Americans (especially African-American women) to the attention of a large national audience . . . Untold thousands of women struggled in similar circumstances, and this record of her daily trials reveals how much the Civil Rights Movement accomplished."--Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Honestly, unsentimentally, but movingly Willie Mae reminds us of how far the boundaries of racial repression have shifted and yet how far they still bind us as a nation. It is time for a new generation to hear her story."--Dan T. Carter

"The sociology, the economics, the politics, are all implicit in Willie Mae's story. . . . She knows hunger ('if you eat laundry starch, you don't be hungry for anything else much'), and humor, large losses and small gains—and from it all gathers unto herself a tough, resilient sort of wisdom."--New Republic

"Poignant as a spiritual and lyrical as the blues."--San Francisco Chronicle

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Originally released in 1958, this first-person narrative in an earthy vernacular was written by Kytle The Voices of Robby Wilde on the basis of conversations with Willie Mae Wright, a black woman who endured poverty and racism as a domestic worker in the South. Daughter of a Georgia construction foreman, Willie Mae recalls her father's anger over losing a job to a white foreman and describes battles with her vindictive stepmother ``I'd have called her a polecat except I really didn't have nothing against polecats''. But her worst troubles began after her father's death, when she was forced to work as a servant for an endless stream of white employers, some of whom insulted her humanity; even when they were generous she could run into difficulty, as when she was arrested for wearing jewelry her employer had lent to her. When her cousin was shot for voting she briefly considered abandoning Georgia for the North. Willie Mae's life is a testament to the courage and strength of a generation of black women. Ladner is the author of Tomorrow's Tomorrow: The Black Woman . Jan.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780820323763
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press
  • Publication date: 10/10/1993
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.61 (d)

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