Skip to content

All Articles

Black and White: Reflections of a White Southern Sociologist by Lewis M. Killian (Review)

by Leslie Dunbar

General Hall, Inc., 1994 Autobiographical writing must require some degree of boldness. Politicians and generals and other “stars” of our firmament have that, usually in abundance. More modest human beings have to make a case for claiming other people’s attention. Lewis Killian does. He does by giving us several ways of reading this, his latest »

The Old Ship of Zion: The Afro-Baptist Ritual in the African Diaspora by Walter F. Pitts (Review)

by Jerrilyn McGregory

Oxford University Press, 1993 Walter Pitts’s premature death, 20 July 1991, is our true misfortune, for his scholarship can be labeled cutting edge, groundbreaking, and most innovative. The Old Ship of Zion is a significant contribution to the fields of sociolinguistics, ritual anthropology, ethnomusicology, and African American folklore—a cross-cultural investigation that ultimately covering the African »

Yellow Fever and Public Health in the New South by John H. Ellis (Review)

by Allan D. Charles

University Press of Kentucky, 1992 John H. Ellis has written an excellent study of yellow fever and public health in the postbellum South, using as case studies the three largest cities of the late nineteenth-century South: New Orleans, Memphis, and Atlanta. His story is two-fold. He highlights the history of epidemics in New Orleans and »

Voices from Alabama: A Twentieth-Century Mosaic by J. Mack Lofton Jr. (Review)

by Wayne Flynt

University of Alabama Press, 1993 For several decades historians have disputed the value of calling tape-recorded oral interviews “history.” No one doubts the usefulness of personal reminiscence when used as one of many sources. But as freestanding accounts of past events, oral memory claims remain dubious for many historians. Despite such skepticism, few question the »

Louisiana Women Writers: New Essays and a Comprehensive Bibliography edited by Dorothy H. Brown and Barbara C. Ewell (Review)

by Margaret M. Geddy

Louisiana State University Press, 1992 Louisiana Women Writers is a commendable, albeit problematic, contribution to the existing scholarship on southern women writers. Although the exhaustive bibliography (admirably remedying a fifty-year gap in Louisiana’s bibliographic history) is both fascinating and highly readable, the biographical and critical essays are uneven, and several are too esoteric to be »

Carter G. Woodson: A Life in Black History by Jacqueline Goggin (Review)

by Nell Irvin Painter

Louisiana State University Press, 1993 The frontispiece and dust jacket of Jacqueline Goggin’s Carter G. Woodson show a photographic portrait of Woodson identified merely as “in middle age.” He looks past the camera, mouth set firmly in the next best thing to a scowl. The photo is retouched, but a less formal shot in the »

The Seminoles of Florida by James W. Covington (review)

by Patricia B. Lerch

University Press of Florida, 1993 The Seminoles of Florida is a study of survival. Covington provides an extensive account of the transformation of the Creek Indians into Seminóles from the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries. The topic fascinates because he gives insight into the amazing human ability to persist against overwhelming force and odds. The »

Archaeology of Precolumbian Florida by Jerald T. Milanich (Review)

by H. Trawick Ward

University Press of Florida, 1994 This book is the second to be written about Florida’s archaeology. The first, Florida Archaeology, by Milanich and Charles Fairbanks, was published in 1980. Because of the tremendous amount of research accomplished since then, this volume, which is almost twice as long as the first, was needed to incorporate more »

Civil Rights and the Idea of Freedom by Richard H. King (Review)

by Charles W. Eagles

Oxford University Press, 1992 Most people have some notion about what freedom meant for the civil rights movement: fairness in the judicial system, equal access to public accommodations, the right to vote, and an end to racial discrimination. Scholars such as Clayborne Carson have recognized the centrality of freedom to the movement by suggesting that »

Indians, Settlers, and Slaves in a Frontier Exchange Economy: The Lower Mississippi Valley Before 1783 by Daniel H. Usner Jr. (review)

by Eric Hinderaker

Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, 1992 When W. J. Cash set out more than fifty years ago to characterize southern society and culture, he chose the image of the frontier as his defining metaphor and rejected popular visions of refined and pedigreed gentlemen moving through a timeless and elegant landscape. To understand »