Willie Mae (Brown Thrasher Books)
First published in 1958 and selected by the New York Times as one of the best books of the year, Willie Mae is a first-person account of a black woman's life and her experiences as a domestic worker in a succession of southern households in the first half of the century.
Powerful and poignant, sometimes funny and always honest, Willie Mae is a testament to the courage and strength of a generation of women who struggled to survive with dignity and humanity in the years before the civil rights movement.
Praise for Willie Mae (Brown Thrasher Books)
"Willie Mae speaks with a voice of wisdom, suffering, truth, and joy. It is a voice gentle on our ears but ruthless on our consciences—a voice worth heeding, still and again, in these edgy times."--Bill Moyers
"One of the first books to bring the contemporary problems of African Americans (especially African-American women) to the attention of a large national audience . . . Untold thousands of women struggled in similar circumstances, and this record of her daily trials reveals how much the Civil Rights Movement accomplished."--Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Honestly, unsentimentally, but movingly Willie Mae reminds us of how far the boundaries of racial repression have shifted and yet how far they still bind us as a nation. It is time for a new generation to hear her story."--Dan T. Carter
"The sociology, the economics, the politics, are all implicit in Willie Mae's story. . . . She knows hunger ('if you eat laundry starch, you don't be hungry for anything else much'), and humor, large losses and small gains—and from it all gathers unto herself a tough, resilient sort of wisdom."--New Republic
"Poignant as a spiritual and lyrical as the blues."--San Francisco Chronicle