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To ‘Joy My Freedom by Tera W. Hunter (thoughts)

August 7, 2012


I’ve said this before, but one of my very favourite nonfiction topics is ‘day-to-day life’ history. So as soon as I read about To ‘Joy My Freedom by Tera W. Hunter on Marilyn’s blog, I knew I wanted to read it. I ended up ILLing since my library doesn’t own a copy, which always puts a bit of extra pressure on a book. Fortunately, it easily lived up to all my expectations, even surpassing them! Hunter is an academic historian, and she’s combined a wide variety of sources to examine the lives of black southern women in Atlanta from the post-Civil War to WWI era. She’s a wonderful scholar, excellent at weighing evidence and sources, convincing in her arguments, and a master at weaving together small-picture details with big-picture theories and trends. Her writing is also wonderful: the book flowed smoothly from chapter to chapter and was quite page-turning, while always staying firmly in the nonfiction realm (aka, no dialogue or internal thoughts of people as imagined by the author, both of which drive me nuts). Sadly, my hands are acting up a little, so I need to keep this post short. But really, between Marilyn’s post, Amy’s, and Amanda’s, everything I’d want to talk about has been covered. I’ll just add my voice to the chorus! :)

To ‘Joy My Freedom gave me a peek into another time and culture, one that has been sadly maligned by past historians. As such, I loved it on many levels and highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys popular history, women’s studies, social justice, or wsimply onderful nonfiction.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. August 7, 2012 9:47 am

    “I ended up ILLing since my library doesn’t own a copy, which always puts a bit of extra pressure on a book. ” <–That just made me smile. :)

    I'm sorry your hands are hurting, my dear! I hope the Sjogren's stops acting up soon! (Does it ever, or is it just constant joint pain?)

    Btw, the book really does sound wonderful.

  2. August 7, 2012 10:07 am

    .Again thanks.
    Just when I was envying all you can get from your library, you say they don’t have this one. They should!

  3. August 10, 2012 8:58 pm

    I also had to get this one via ILL. I can tell you that when Amy and I first posted the lists and started The Real Help project, a significant number of the books have become available on the kindle. We can only hope this is due to reader demand. Maybe the same demand will affect libraries around the country. :-)

  4. August 10, 2012 9:26 pm

    This book sounds fantastic. I’m hoping my library has this.

  5. August 29, 2012 9:21 am

    So glad you got a chance to read this one, and that you enjoyed it so much! I loved how much she covered. And like Amanda said above, so awesome that more of the titles are becoming available. Hopefully the trend continues :)

  6. August 31, 2012 2:52 pm

    I think this crossed my reader’s radar before, but I’ve finally made a note of it: it sounds perfect. Thanks!

Thank you for commenting! For a long while, my health precluded me replying to everyone. Yet I missed the conversation, so I'm now making an effort to reply again. It might take a few days though, and there will be times when I simply can't. Regardless, I always read and value what you say.

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