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To 'Joy My Freedom: Southern Black Women's Lives and Labors After the Civil War

To 'Joy My Freedom: Southern Black Women's Lives and Labors After the Civil War

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As the Civil War drew to a close, newly emancipated black women workers struggled to build a 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 through a variety of sources--including letters, diaries, household account books, oral histories, newspapers and public records--to show black women workers as they devised their own worlds of work, play, negotiation, resistance, and community organization. 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.