Tennessee Women
Their Lives and Times

Edited by Sarah Wilkerson Freeman and Beverly Greene Bond
Associate Editor, Laura Helper-Ferris

Volume 1

Eighteen biographical essays about leading women figures in Tennessee's history and culture


"The richness and variety of the voices represented in these essays will be useful in many ways. The breadth of the women’s experiences and the broad span of time their lives touched will ensure the work’s appeal to a wide audience."
—Cynthia Griggs Fleming, author of In the Shadow of Selma: The Continuing Struggle for Civil Rights in the Rural South

"By focusing on the lives of individual women, known and unknown, over many years, this volume is an important addition to the history of Tennessee and the evolving history of southern women."
—Anne Firor Scott, W.K.Boyd Professor Emerita, Duke University

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Including suffragists, civil rights activists, and movers and shakers in politics and in the music industries of Nashville and Memphis, as well as many other notables, this collective portrait of Tennessee women offers new perspectives and insights into their dreams, their struggles, and their times. As rich, diverse, and wide-ranging as the topography of the state, this book will interest scholars, general readers, and students of southern history, women's history, and Tennessee history.

Tennessee Women: Their Lives and Times shifts the historical lens from the more traditional view of men's roles to place women and their experiences at center stage in the historical drama. The eighteen biographical essays, written by leading historians of women, illuminate the lives of familiar figures like reformer Frances Wright, blueswoman Alberta Hunter, and the Grand Ole Opry's Minnie Pearl (Sarah Colley Cannon) and less-well-known characters like the Cherokee Beloved Woman Nan-ye-hi (Nancy Ward), antebellum free black woman Milly Swan Price, and environmentalist Doris Bradshaw.

Told against the backdrop of their times, these are the life stories of women who shaped Tennessee's history from the eighteenth-century challenges of western expansion through the nineteenth- and twentieth-century struggles against racial and gender oppression to the twenty-first-century battles with community degradation. Taken as a whole, this collection of women's stories illuminates previously unrevealed historical dimensions that give readers a greater understanding of Tennessee's place within environmental and human rights movements and its role as a generator of phenomenal cultural life.

Southern Women: Their Lives and Times

Page count: 480 pp.
17 b&w photos
Trim size: 6 x 9


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Sarah Wilkerson Freeman is an associate professor of history at Arkansas State University. She is a contributor to Southern Women at the Millennium and Mississippi Women: Their Histories, Their Lives and numerous journals. Beverly Greene Bond is an associate professor of history and director of African and African American Studies at the University of Memphis. She is the coauthor of Memphis in Black and White and Images of America: Beale Street.