Southern Women’s History: Baptist Women

This striking image is from a Library of Congress collection of legendary folklorist John Lomax’s photographs from his 1930s and 40s tours of the South and the Caribbean in search of folk songs and culture. Lomax’s notes tell us that these women,”Baptist Women,” live on the Alma Plantation on False River, LA.

Let’s Talk About Hext

A collection of hundreds of antebellum letters recently acquired by the South Caroliniana Library at the University of South Carolina centers on the lives of the women of the Hext Family, natives of Barnwell County, South Carolina. Five sisters, Julia (b. 1816), Addy (b. 1818), Lizzy (b. 1824), Mag (b. 1827), and Selena or “Leany” … [Read more…]

Cynthia Ann McKinney

Today in 1955, Cynthia Ann McKinney was born in Atlanta, Georgia. By 1993, she was the first African-American woman to represent Georgia in the U.S. House of Representatives (there have been only six women altogether). Importantly, McKinney has a legacy and a personal history of activism. Her dad was one of Atlanta’s first black cops … [Read more…]

Coot Grant: Hard Working Woman of the Blues

Today in 1893, blues singer and vaudeville performer Coot Grant was born Leola Pettigrew in Birmingham, Alabama. “Coot” was short for “Cutie”, Grant’s childhood nickname. By the age of eight, she was performing in vaudeville shows in Atlanta and, by twenty, she had traveled South Africa and Europe with Mayme Remington’s Pickaninnies, one of several … [Read more…]