Women of all colors have shaped families, communities, institutions, and societies throughout history, but only in recent decades have their contributions been widely recognized, described, and celebrated. This book presents the first comprehensive history of black Texas women, a previously neglected group whose 150 years of continued struggle and some successes against the oppression of racism and sexism deserve to be better known and understood.
Beginning with slave and free women of color during the Texas colonial period and concluding with contemporary women who serve in the Texas legislature and the United States Congress, Ruthe Winegarten organizes her history both chronologically and topically. Her narrative sparkles with the life stories of individual women and their contributions to the work force, education, religion, the club movement, community building, politics, civil rights, and culture. The product of extensive archival and oral research and illustrated with over 200 photographs, this groundbreaking work will be equally appealing to general readers and to scholars of women's history, black history, American studies, and Texas history.
The late Ruthe Winegarten, an independent scholar, has written, coauthored, and edited numerous books.
Black Texas Women is an inspiring introduction to the struggles and accomplishments of black women in Texas since the days of the Republic.... It is through the work of Ruthe Winegarten and others like her that scarce and scattered records are being uncovered, preserved, and protected.
~Texas Books in Review
Occasionally a book comes along that is monumental in scope, overwhelming in amount of research, and so powerful in its impact as to be categorized at once as a lasting contribution to our knowledge of humankind. Black Texas Women is one of those rare books.... Highly recommended.
~Review of Texas Books
Winegarten, a prolific and competent independent scholar of Texas history, enriches understanding of the Lone Star State with this long-needed and well-done study of the African American women of Texas, from the Spanish colonial era to the present.
...a valuable and moving account of the extraordinary accomplishments of black Texas women.
~Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, author of Within the Plantation Household: Black and White Women of the Old South
Black Texas Women: 150 Years of Trial and Triumph by Ruthe Winegarten is a wonderful tribute to black Texas women. African-American women have often struggled on two fronts, battling both sexism and racism. We can all gain inspiration from these women, from the Yellow Rose of Texas, Emily Morgan, the heroine of the Texas Revolution, to Dr. Connie Yerwood Conner, the first black physician on the staff of the Texas Department of Health. My own inspirations come from civil rights activist Juanita Craft, the legendary Barbara Jordan, and the indomitable Wilhelmina Delco. These women were and are pioneers in their own communities and also great Texans. They make us all proud.
~Ann W. Richards, Governor of Texas
Black Texas Women is an admirable achievement. Ruthe Winegarten has produced an innovative state study of Black women that will surprise students, scholars, and general readers. This unique book, with its lively writing, numerous documents and photographs, enriches and complicates African American and women's history by connecting threads of race, gender, class, and region.
~Darlene Clark Hine, John A. Hannah Professor of History, Michigan State University
"She Is My Sister" by Niobe
Part I. The Antebellum Period
1. Free Women of Color. "An honest, sober and industrious woman. "
2. Slavery. "Our slaves are the happiest...human beings on whom the sun shines."
Part II. Reconstruction and Redemption
3. First Freedom. "I belong to myself now."
4. Resistance. "Colored woman sues for damages."
Part III. Education and Culture
5. Freedmen's Bureau Schools and Public Schools "Send us teachers. "
6. Higher Education. "Conduct becoming ladies is insisted upon."
7. Culture and Social Life. "If you can sing gospel, you can sing the blues."
Part IV. The New Century
8. Work. "I would not take 'no' for an answer."
9. Clubs and Community Building. "Lifting as we climb."
10. The Fight for Suffrage and against Lynching. "Are you saying that we can't vote because we're Negroes?"
Part V. The Modern Period
11. World War II. "A splendid opportunity for colored women. "
12. The Civil Rights Movement. "The fight is on!"
13. Breaking the Glass Ceiling. "This is our time."
"Prelude to Ashe" by Hermine Pinson
Appendix 1. Educators
Appendix 2. Officeholders
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