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2011 Book Award: Living with Jim Crow

Living with Jim Crow: African American Women and Memories of the Segregated South (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) by Anne Valk and Leslie Brown, recently won the 2011 Oral History Association biennial book award.

The award was established in 1993 to recognize a published book that uses oral history to make a significant contribution to contemporary scholarship; and/or significantly advances understanding of important theoretical issues in oral history; and/or is an outstanding example of sound oral history methodology.

The OHA review committee described the book as “an antidote to the many accounts of segregation and the Civil Rights movement that overlook women as major forces of change,” and cited the book’s methodological sophistication and the “skillful weaving together of first-person narratives and photographs.”

Living with Jim Crow presents African American women’s personal recollections of their public and private lives during the period of legal segregation in the South, emphasizing their role in their families and communities and in the economic, social, cultural, and political life of the region during that time. The women, all of whom were born between 1900 and 1947, were interviewed in the 1990s as part of a major oral history research project of the Center for Documentary Studies—Behind the Veil: Documenting African American Life in the Jim Crow South. The narratives in Living with Jim Crow are excerpted from more than 1,200 first-person interviews (recorded on cassette tape) with elderly African American southerners conducted for Behind the Veil. Valk, associate director for programs of the John Nicholas Brown Center at Brown University, and Brown, associate professor of history at Williams College, served as research coordinators for the Behind the Veil project from 1990 to 1995.

Get more information on Living with Jim Crow.

Get more information on the Behind the Veil Project.

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