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Telling Memories Among Southern Women: Domestic Workers and Their Employers in the Segregated South Paperback


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Telling Memories Among Southern Women: Domestic Workers and Their Employers in the Segregated South + Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (Dover Thrift Editions) + When I Was a Slave: Memoirs from the Slave Narrative Collection (Dover Thrift Editions)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 279 pages
  • Publisher: Louisiana State University Press (April 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080712799X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807127995
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #187,101 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This collection of oral history narratives explores the attitudes and experiences of black women who worked as domestics in the segregated South and their white women employers. Although the narratives cover 1900 to the beginning of the Civil Rights era, the interviews were conducted in the 1980s. The memories, therefore, are recounted in light of the changes wrought by the intervening years. Tucker analyzes the complex social patterns of the times, the women's lifestyles, and the effect of selective memory on their stories. A fascinating study of a hitherto neglected area of social history. Susan B. Hagloch, Tuscarawas Cty. P.L., New Philadelphia, Ohio
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Susan Tucker is curator of books and records at the Newcomb College Center for Research on Women at Tulane University in New Orleans.

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Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Of course, this book is more factual and not meant to be a novel.
Charles B
Each topic is introduced in the context of the times and we read interviews from both the domestics and employers.
Joan Maute
The book is apparently out of print but I found a great used copy.
Retired in SC

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

155 of 157 people found the following review helpful By Joan Maute on March 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
While reading The Help I found myself wondering what Kathryn Stockett was using as a foundation. Yes, she'd lived in Jackson, MS (I spent my first two years of undergrad in Jackson '65-'67) and yes, The Help was fiction...but what else was there? I was thrilled to read in the acknowledgments "Thank you to Susan Tucker, author of the book Telling Memories Among Southern Women, whose beautiful oral accounts of domestics and white employers took me back to a time and place that is long gone". I immediately went in search of this book. I can tell you it was next to impossible to find the the copies available were priced reflecting the supply and demand, I think the cheapest one I could find was around $90. Fortunately I was able to find a hard-backed copy through my local library, which I devoured. I've now ordered my own copy since evidently more have been published and prices are reasonable.

Telling Memories Among Southern Women: Domestic Workers and Their Employers in the Segregated South is a collection of interviews done by Susan Tucker, a white archivist and librarian and Mary Yelling, an African-American social worker. They are arranged by topics such as "Giving and Receiving." Each topic is introduced in the context of the times and we read interviews from both the domestics and employers. Each interview has an introduction that sets the context for reading the interview. It gives us an historical, qualitative research-based look at these times in the south. While reading what was said by the women who lived different sides of this social institution we get a glimpse of a former time. If you read and enjoyed The Help but would like more, you'll love this book.
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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Sally S on May 12, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a wonderful supplement to "The Help", it only made "The Help" which I really enjoyed come to life. It is so amazing how much insight and wisdom these workers had into the life of their employers. it's hard to believe it's true not fiction.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Macan on May 25, 2011
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This historical publication interviews 42 women(both black and white) in the 1980's to determine their perspective regarding the bond between domestic workers and their employers from the turn of the century to the 1960's. It was referenced in "The Help" and provided much background. It definitely shows that, although these women often worked under the same roof, they definitely had two different opinions relative to their own situations and lifestyles. Some of the women interviewed were open and honest, and others were obviously reticent still to candidly speak their opinions, maybe out of a feeling of loyalty or possibly fear. Several times I felt as if I walked in to an already-in-progress interview and missed much of it. I don't know if parts were edited out (and possibly the lapse in time has caused interviewees to forget), but I would like to have heard more. The book is an intense piece of work that left me feeling hungry to read more on the subject.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By K. Petrie on April 19, 2010
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I really enjoyed this book. I read The Help first and it really got me thinking about this part of our history. Even after the slaves were freed, these women were still slaves, and like everything else, the white women thought it was just wonderful that these black women loved them so much to still work for them.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By D Hoffie on January 29, 2011
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This is a great book to read before or after reading The Help. Gives insight into the lives and thoughts of domestic workers.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Fran W. on September 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is an outstanding book to read. I only wish there were more books like it. It offers many personal narratives by southern women and their domestics that were enlightening to me. Many facts of life that have not been openly discussed were presented here in a fascinating way. It was hard to put this book down, as each chapter presented new and interesting insight into the south, and black and white relationships. I was suprised at the closeness of many white women and their children to their black domestics. This is a must read book that will give the reader a more insightful understanding of the past and present southern blacks and whites.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn J. Miller on September 6, 2011
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This was an interesting follow-up after reading the HELP and seeing the movie. These are individual stories. I like to read several stories at a seating. It doesn't SpellBind you like THE HELP because it is not one continuous story but it is very good and interesting.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By SS Sally on November 30, 2011
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I bought this book after reading The Help. The stories are mostly uplifting, about the positive relationship between white women and their help. It was refreshing to see that there was and in many cases, still is a bond between these women. Often times, it's portrayed that these relationships were always negative. This book talked about how much both women relied on each other. It brings a little lighter side to such a harsh time of our history.
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