Review: Study of domestics during Jim Crow offers rich detail
THE MAID NARRATIVES: Black Domestics and White Families in the Jim Crow South. By Katherine van Wormer, David W. Jackson III and Charletta Sudduth. Louisiana State University Press. $36.95. 384 pages.
In “The Maid Narratives: Black Domestics and White Families in the Jim Crow South,” authors Katherine van Wormer, David W. Jackson III and Charletta Sudduth give us a solid sampling of what it was like for blacks to work for white families during the Jim Crow era in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.
Backdoor entrances, separate eating quarters, outside bathrooms, sexual overtures from their male employers — it’s all here, as well as memories of the murder of Emmett Till, visits from the Ku Klux Klan, and the dawn of the civil rights movement. The book also includes narratives from 15 white women whose contributions, the authors say, “inform in both what they say and in what they do not.”
Reviewer Gina Webb writes for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.