Cooking in Other Women's Kitchens: Domestic Workers in the South,1865-1960 - The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture (Paperback)
  • Cooking in Other Women's Kitchens: Domestic Workers in the South,1865-1960 - The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture (Paperback)
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Cooking in Other Women's Kitchens: Domestic Workers in the South,1865-1960 - The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture (Paperback)

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£31.95
Paperback 304 Pages / Published: 28/02/2013
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As African American women left the plantation economy behind, many entered domestic service in southern cities and towns. Cooking was one of the primary jobs they performed, feeding generations of white families and, in the process, profoundly shaping southern foodways and culture. Rebecca Sharpless argues that, in the face of discrimination, long workdays, and low wages, African American cooks worked to assert measures of control over their own lives. As employment opportunities expanded in the twentieth century, most African American women chose to leave cooking for more lucrative and less oppressive manufacturing, clerical, or professional positions. Through letters, autobiography, and oral history, Sharpless evokes African American women's voices from slavery to the open economy, examining their lives at work and at home.

Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9781469606866
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 431 g
Dimensions: 235 x 156 x 23 mm
Edition: New edition


MEDIA REVIEWS
Thanks to Professor Sharpless for allowing these cooks to make real the travails and triumphs they endured. May her volume continue to break down the stereotypes that plague us to this day.--Gastronomica


Skillfully researched, lucidly written, and thoughtful. . . . This book appears at a crucial moment, presenting a beautifully crafted historical narrative that contextualizes Kathryn Stockett's The Help. . . . Highly recommended.--Choice


Sharpless presents a visceral and engaging account of each passing moment in the day of an African-American cook.--Georgia Historical Quarterly


Sharpless labors to fill a pantry with stories from the legion of southerners who experienced a remarkable slice of American history.--Ohio Valley History


An intriguing account of the personal and public lives of African American domestic workers from Reconstruction to the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement.--Southern Cultures


Using plantation account books, memoirs from servants, Federal Writers' Project narratives, cookbooks, and census records, Sharpless excavates the experiences of the black domestic working class in the South.--Journal of African American History


Expertly details the changes in African American women's economic and employment opportunities from emancipation until the middle of the Civil Rights Movement. . . . [A] fine work.--Journal of Social History


[An] excellent new history of African American cooks in the U.S. South . . . . Sharpless's book offers a valuable model for labor historians, as it portrays work and life as inextricably linked but not mutually definitive.--American Historical Review


Sharpless' book is wonderfully detailed, and provides voice for the often overlooked African-American domestic. . . . Highly recommended.--Labour/Le Travail


The robust descriptions of cooks' day-to-day tasks, their relationships with employers, and personal lives enrich the literature on domestic workers by drawing attention to specializations within the domestic-work labor market.--Register of the Kentucky Historical Society


A fresh and engaging read.--Journal of Southern History


A fascinating examination of black women's domestic employment as they transitioned from being slaves to being free laborers.--The North Carolina Historical Review


Well written, painstakingly researched, and carefully situated in the scholarly literature about foodways . . . . A rich and much needed addition." --Florida Historical Quarterly


Sharpless offers an in-depth and complete portrait of African American cooks and the nature of their work and lives in this period. The cooks' voices are very compelling, and Sharpless does a good job of letting them largely speak for themselves.--Oral History Forum

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