Mississippi Women

Their Histories, Their Lives

Assisted by Brenda Eagles

Associate editor Susan Ditto

Edited by Elizabeth Anne Payne, Marjorie Julian Spruill and Martha H. Swain

Title Details

Pages: 328

Trim Size: 152.400mm x 228.600mm x 23.876mm



Pub Date: 11/17/2003

ISBN: 9-780-8203-2502-6

List Price: $51.95


Pub Date: 11/17/2003

ISBN: 9-780-8203-2503-3

List Price: $26.95

Mississippi Women

Their Histories, Their Lives

Assisted by Brenda Eagles

Associate editor Susan Ditto

Edited by Elizabeth Anne Payne, Marjorie Julian Spruill and Martha H. Swain

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  • Description
  • Reviews
  • Contributors

This collection of seventeen fascinating biographies, produced by the Mississippi Women's History Project, is an important step toward gaining the state's women their deserved place in its written record. The women whose absorbing life stories are told here range from Felicité Girodeau of old Natchez, who was both a person of color and a slaveholder, to Vera Mae Pigee, who "mothered" the civil rights movement in the Mississippi Delta. Some of the women are well known, others were prominent in their time but have since faded into obscurity, and a few have never received the attention they deserve.

Readers may already know such figures as writer and photographer Eudora Welty, civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer, and poet and educator Margaret Walker Alexander. Others are probably less familiar: the microbiologist Elizabeth Lee Hazen, the black businesswoman and civic leader Sadye Wier, the flapper feminist Minnie Brewer, or the jurist Burnita Shelton Matthews. All the featured women, whether suffrage pioneers, champions for higher education for women, or luminaries in art and literature, shared similar experiences in their struggles for success. From Winnie Davis, daughter of the Confederacy's president, to Hazel Brannon Smith, a journalist and antilynching crusader, they had in common the pains and privileges that were part of womanhood in their times.

As multifaceted as the state they helped to build, the women portrayed in this engaging volume will interest and inspire Mississippians of all ages. Scholars will find here a valuable resource that adds nuance and texture to southern and women's history.

Mississippi Women: Their Histories, Their Lives-Volume 2 includes vibrant chapters from a number of prominent scholars in the field of southern history as well as from those who are just bringing their work to light. With this second book, a smart complement to the first volume, the authors analyze the forces of history in the lives of Mississippi women while demonstrating women's agency in a sophisticated and analytical manner. From Choctaw and Chickasaw tribal history to the International Women's Year Conferences of 1977, Mississippi offers a fascinating window into the world of southern women.

—Elizabeth Hayes Turner, author of Women and Gender in the New South, 1865–1945

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.

—Suzanne Marrs, author of Eudora Welty: A Biography

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

Ann Scott

Bridget Pieschel

Cita Cook

Constance Curry

David D. Carson

Dorothy Shawhan

Françoise N. Hamlin

Joanne Hawks

John F. Marszalek

Kate Greene

Kathleen Jenkins

Linda Reed

Mark Newman

Robert Harris

Sarah Wilkerson Freeman

James Carson

Susan Ditto

Emily Clark

About the Author/Editor

Elizabeth Anne Payne (Editor)
ELIZABETH ANNE PAYNE is a professor of history at the University of Mississippi.

Marjorie Julian Spruill (Editor)
MARJORIE JULIAN SPRUILL is a professor of history at the University of South Carolina.

Martha H. Swain (Editor)
MARTHA H. SWAIN is Cornaro Professor of History Emerita at Texas Woman's University.