"The essays in this volume confound our assumptions about Mississippi women and broaden our understanding of southern womanhood in general. The authors capture the breadth and diversity of women’s experiences in the state from eighteenth century Chickasaw and Choctaw women to nineteenth and twentieth century black and white women—all restricted by or challenging social, economic and political constraints. This is an outstanding study of women’s history as southern history."
—Beverly Greene Bond, editor of Tennessee Women: Their Lives and Times
"I can't wait to assign the second volume of Mississippi Women to my classes. This book provides historical scholarship that can at once illuminate stories and novels by writers like Eudora Welty and Toni Morrison and offer new insight into literary texts by their male counterparts. The book's essays paint a portrait of Mississippi women—Native American, black, and white—which is relevant far beyond state lines or the boundaries of academic disciplines."
"This volume is for all of us. Beautiful and powerful writing makes these essays accessible to those of us outside the scholarly world of historians and the academy. As a former civil rights lawyer, law professor, and Women’s Rights Program Officer at Ford responsible for its grant-making globally and in the United States, I cannot say enough about how important this volume is."
—Barbara Y. Phillips, Former Ford Foundation Program Officer for Women’s Rights and Gender Equity
"The well-written and accessible essays in this volume add depth and rich texture to our understanding of the lives of women in Mississippi."
—Journal of Southern History
Essays on the state’s early history focus on such topics as Choctaw and Chickasaw women’s influence on Native American society and tribal councils, daily life for free black women in slaveholding Natchez, and the efforts of white Protestant women to establish churches on the frontier. Several essays cast new light on legal concerns, including two on the pivotal Married Women’s Property Act of 1839, while other essays examine the impact of the Civil War and Reconstruction on women’s lives.
The boundaries of race and gender in Jim Crow Mississippi are explored through an essay on the women of the mixed-race Knight family, notably the educator, nurse, and missionary Anna Knight. Women’s experiences with rural electrification, consumerism, civil rights activism, social and service clubs, and feminism are among the other twentieth-century topics addressed in the essays. Volume 2 concludes with an essay on storytelling and remembrance that centers on the family of Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist (and Mississippi native) William Raspberry.
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