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Black History Month Event: Co-Authors of The Maid Narratives to Give Presentation

February 20, 2014  3 p.m.
Clarence Mitchell Library, Marvin-Burt Liberal Arts Center

In recognition of Black History Month, two of the three co-authors of The Maid Narratives: Black Domestics and White Families in the Jim Crow South, will discuss their work and sign their books on Thursday, February 20, at 3 p.m. in the Highland Community College Clarence Mitchell Library, on the second floor of the Marvin-Burt Liberal Arts Center.

This event is free and the public is invited.

Based on interviews with over fifty peopleboth black domestic workers and the white families they worked forthe stories in The Maid Narratives deliver a personal message about resilience and resistance in the face of oppression in the Jim Crow South.

The housekeepers, caretakers, sharecroppers, and cooks who share their memories in The Maid Narratives ultimately moved away during the Great Migration. Their perspectives as servants who left the South for better opportunities 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 familys 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 stories, often tragic, and sometimes humorous. The Maid Narratives reveals, across racial lines, shared hardships, strong emotional ties, and inspiring strength.

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 masters in social work and a doctorate in education, curriculum, and instruction from the University of Northern Iowa.

Contact Reference Librarian Laura Watson at 815.599.3456 or for more information about this event.

Free Event   FREE EVENT
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