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Cooking in Other Women's Kitchens, Enhanced Ebook (John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture)

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As African American women left the plantation economy behind, many entered domestic service in southern cities and towns. Cooking was one of the primary jobs they performed, feeding generations of white families and, in the process, profoundly shaping southern foodways and culture. Rebecca Sharpless argues that, in the face of discrimination, long workdays, and low wages, As African American women left the plantation economy behind, many entered domestic service in southern cities and towns. Cooking was one of the primary jobs they performed, feeding generations of white families and, in the process, profoundly shaping southern foodways and culture. Rebecca Sharpless argues that, in the face of discrimination, long workdays, and low wages, African American cooks worked to assert measures of control over their own lives. As employment opportunities expanded in the twentieth century, most African American women chose to leave cooking for more lucrative and less oppressive manufacturing, clerical, or professional positions. Through letters, autobiography, and oral history, Sharpless evokes African American women's voices from slavery to the open economy, examining their lives at work and at home.


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As African American women left the plantation economy behind, many entered domestic service in southern cities and towns. Cooking was one of the primary jobs they performed, feeding generations of white families and, in the process, profoundly shaping southern foodways and culture. Rebecca Sharpless argues that, in the face of discrimination, long workdays, and low wages, As African American women left the plantation economy behind, many entered domestic service in southern cities and towns. Cooking was one of the primary jobs they performed, feeding generations of white families and, in the process, profoundly shaping southern foodways and culture. Rebecca Sharpless argues that, in the face of discrimination, long workdays, and low wages, African American cooks worked to assert measures of control over their own lives. As employment opportunities expanded in the twentieth century, most African American women chose to leave cooking for more lucrative and less oppressive manufacturing, clerical, or professional positions. Through letters, autobiography, and oral history, Sharpless evokes African American women's voices from slavery to the open economy, examining their lives at work and at home.

30 review for Cooking in Other Women's Kitchens, Enhanced Ebook (John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    This is in the style of an academic treatise and it suffers from the normal repetitiveness of most academic work so is not a particularly enjoyable book to read, but still worthwhile. I found it referenced in several threads about The Help. What I enjoyed most was the history of food and food preparation and food products and learned (so late in life!) that Baking Powder is really a blend of baking soda and cream of tartar. I loved that the author referenced Mama Dips in Chapel Hill. I enjoyed th This is in the style of an academic treatise and it suffers from the normal repetitiveness of most academic work so is not a particularly enjoyable book to read, but still worthwhile. I found it referenced in several threads about The Help. What I enjoyed most was the history of food and food preparation and food products and learned (so late in life!) that Baking Powder is really a blend of baking soda and cream of tartar. I loved that the author referenced Mama Dips in Chapel Hill. I enjoyed the part about African Americans reclaiming the Aunt Jemima image in ironic art work and installations. I liked the discussion of "living out" rather than rooming in. And I will never be able to consider Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings again without thinking about what terrible person she was to her African American cook.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Trenee

    I talk about this book on my blog Black Girl Lost in a Book - http://naysue.wordpress.com/2012/11/2... I talk about this book on my blog Black Girl Lost in a Book - http://naysue.wordpress.com/2012/11/2...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Fascinating look at the choices made (when choices were available) by African-American women in regards to domestic labor in the period between emancipation and the Civil Rights movement. A rich, well-told story with impeccable research and materials cited throughout.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Degenerate Chemist

    Excellent account of Black domestic workers in the American South after the Civil War. Well researched and highly readable.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ai Miller

    I really enjoyed this! Sharpless's use of a variety of voices and stories really lend weight to her story, and was a really great, refreshing look at the work that Black women were doing as domestic workers. The number of historical actors she highlights may get a little dizzying at times, as she moves thematically rather than chronologically, but it really worked well for me, and I think her explicit disavowal of the "Mammy" stereotype is very effective. I really enjoyed this! Sharpless's use of a variety of voices and stories really lend weight to her story, and was a really great, refreshing look at the work that Black women were doing as domestic workers. The number of historical actors she highlights may get a little dizzying at times, as she moves thematically rather than chronologically, but it really worked well for me, and I think her explicit disavowal of the "Mammy" stereotype is very effective.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Joanna Hamadeh

    Better than The Help... at least more historically accurate and gives a more complete an unbiased picture of what the lives of black domestic workers lives were like. I felt bored at times, but it is an easy quick read and contributes to understanding how the labor market that emerged post-slavery was really just an extension of the slave system. The bodies and labor of blacks continued to be exploited and profited from.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Zach

    Useful as a guide to understanding the conditions of African American domestic workers following the Civil War through World War II, but doesn't stick to a cohesive thread as much as I would have preferred. There's also a lot of repetition that makes it a somewhat monotonous read. Otherwise, though, it's very informative. Useful as a guide to understanding the conditions of African American domestic workers following the Civil War through World War II, but doesn't stick to a cohesive thread as much as I would have preferred. There's also a lot of repetition that makes it a somewhat monotonous read. Otherwise, though, it's very informative.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Katie

  9. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Herbert

  10. 5 out of 5

    Marianna

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alice

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

  13. 5 out of 5

    Steph Bartelt

  14. 5 out of 5

    James N

  15. 4 out of 5

    Annie

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rose

  17. 4 out of 5

    Angel

  18. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Lee

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

  20. 4 out of 5

    Katie

  21. 4 out of 5

    Meredith

  22. 5 out of 5

    Pamala

  23. 4 out of 5

    Heidi Kern

  24. 5 out of 5

    Katrina

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Gardner

  26. 5 out of 5

    Carole Biewener

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kat

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dianne

  29. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Dunbar

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