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

Title: To 'Joy My Freedom: Southern Black Women's Lives and Labors After the Civil War
ISBN13: 9780674893085
Release Date: September 15th 1998
Published by: Harvard University Press
Pages: 322

Tera Hunter follows African-American working women from their newfound optimism and hope at the end of the Civil War to their struggles as free domestic laborers in the homes of their former master. We witness their drive as they build neighborhoods and networks and their energy as they enjoy leisure hours in dance halls and clubs. We learn of their militance and the way they resisted efforts to keep them economically depressed and medically victimized. Finally, we see the despair and defeat provoked by Jim Crow laws and segregation and how they spurred large numbers of black laboring women to migrate north.

Recommended by the Association of Black Women Historians.