January Question of the Month

Jesse George-Nichol's picture
Welcome to our Question of the Month series, which we hope will launch robust discussions about research, pedagogy, and practice in the study of women and gender in the U.S. South.  We also hope that subscribers from all backgrounds and at all stages of their careers will share ideas, insights, questions, and resources--just click the 'Post a Reply' button to join the conversation! 
 
This month we continue our series inspired by the recently published book Sisterly Networks: Fifty Years of Southern Women's Histories, edited by Catherine Clinton.
 
In her essay "Can the Sistas Get Some History, Too?" Cherisse Jones-Branch argues that we must "allot [Southern black women] their proper place in the historical narrative by generating studies that center on their experiences."  To do this, she urges historians to "boldly, aggressively, and creatively question how we research Southern black women's lives."  Which historians are successfully answering this call, and how can we, as historians, pursue the same goals in our own work?
 
If you have any questions or comments about the series or have any suggestions for our next Question of the Month, please email H-SAWH editor Jesse George-Nichol (jesse.george.nichol@gmail.com).  This series will also post to H-SAWH's Twitter feed at @HNetSAWH.

The publications of the Black Protestant press represent one under-utilized source for the intellectual and cultural history of Black women in the South, likely due to lack of access, as most religious periodicals have not been fully digitized. My current book project examines the contributions of women to the A.M.E. Church Review, the quarterly publication of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, from 1884 to 1924. One of the key chapters treats a long-running (1903-1912) travel column in the Review, authored by a woman, E. Marie Carter, who traveled extensively through the South via steamship, rail, and horse-drawn conveyance Her columns prove a stark contrast to the travel narratives of Ida B. Wells and Anna Julia Cooper. A portion of this chapter is scheduled for publication in the Spring 2021 issue of the Journal of African American History. A second article, specifically focusing on travel throughout Florida, is under consideration at the Journal of Florida Studies.