Cover: To ’Joy My Freedom in PAPERBACK

To ’Joy My Freedom

Southern Black Women’s Lives and Labors after the Civil War

Add to Cart

Product Details

PAPERBACK

$31.00 • £24.95 • €28.00

ISBN 9780674893085

Publication Date: 09/15/1998

Short

336 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

15 halftones; 2 maps, 3 tables

World

As the Civil War drew to a close, newly emancipated black women workers made their way to Atlanta—the economic hub of the newly emerging urban and industrial south—in order to build an independent and free life on the rubble of their enslaved past. In an original and dramatic work of scholarship, Tera Hunter traces their lives in the postbellum era and reveals the centrality of their labors to the African-American struggle for freedom and justice. Household laborers and washerwomen were constrained by their employers’ domestic worlds but constructed their own world of work, play, negotiation, resistance, and community organization.

Hunter follows African-American working women from their newfound optimism and hope at the end of the Civil War to their struggles as free domestic laborers in the homes of their former masters. We witness their drive as they build neighborhoods and networks and their energy as they enjoy leisure hours in dance halls and clubs. We learn of their militance and the way they resisted efforts to keep them economically depressed and medically victimized. Finally, we understand the despair and defeat provoked by Jim Crow laws and segregation and how they spurred large numbers of black laboring women to migrate north.

Hunter weaves a rich and diverse tapestry of the culture and experience of black women workers in the post–Civil War south. Through anecdote and data, analysis and interpretation, she manages to penetrate African-American life and labor and to reveal the centrality of women at the inception—and at the heart—of the new south.

Awards & Accolades

  • 1998 H. L. Mitchell Award, Southern Historical Association
  • 1997 Book of the Year Award, International Labor History Association
  • 1997 Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Book Award, Association of Black Women Historians
What Stars Are Made Of: The Life of Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, by Donovan Moore, with a Foreword by Jocelyn Bell Burnell, from Harvard University Press

Recent News

From Our Blog

Jacket: What Stars Are Made Of: The Life of Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, by Donovan Moore, from Harvard University Press

The Most Famous Astronomer You’ve Never Heard Of

Despite her pioneering contributions to science, Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin has not always been recognized as one of the most influential scientists of the twentieth century. In What Stars Are Made Of, Donovan Moore sets out to change this, with the first full biography of this trailblazing scientist. To celebrate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we are pleased to highlight five

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library (loebclassics.com) extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.