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He Included Me

The Autobiography of Sarah Rice

Sarah Rice

Publication Year: 2012

A rare first-person account of life in the twentieth-century South, He Included Me weaves together the story of a black family--eight children reared in rural Alabama, their mother a schoolteacher, their father a minister--and the emerging self-portrait of a woman determined, like her parents, to look ahead.

Sarah Rice recalls her mother's hymn of thanks--"He Included Me"--when God showed her a way to feed her family, and hears again her mother's quiet words, "It's no disgrace to work. It's an honor to make an honest dollar," spoken when her children were embarrassed that she took in white people's laundry. Rice speaks, finally, of the determination, faith, and pride that carried her through life.

In a document that spans more than three-quarters of the twentieth century, He Included Me presents the voice of a single woman whose life was rich in complexity, deep in suffering and joy; yet it also speaks for the many black women who have worked and struggled in the rural South and always looked ahead.

Published by: University of Georgia Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. v

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pp. vii-xiii

At the beginning of Invented Lives, Mary Helen Washington questions why the traditions of black culture seem to be predominantly masculine and asks, "How does the heroic voice and heroic image of the black woman get suppressed in a culture that...


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pp. xv-xvi

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1. Early Days in Clio and Birmingham (1909–1917)

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pp. 1-25

My name is Sarah Rice. I was born in Clio, Alabama, on January 4, 1909. My father, Willis James Webb, was a Methodist minister in the African Methodist Episcopal church, and my mother, Lizzie Janet Lewis Webb, was a teacher. When I was a...

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2. Life in the Batesville Neighborhood (1917–1920)

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pp. 26-47

We had good neighbors in Batesville, a good community life. It was a rural area eighteen miles from Eufala and five miles from the nearest store. It was beautiful farming land with rolling hills and flatlands...

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3. Life on the Pat Brannon Place (1921–1925)

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pp. 48-67

Finally Papa decided to move us closer to Eufala, when I was about eleven years old. He wanted us to be closer to the school. I was so glad when we moved onto Mr. Pat Brannon's place. I can see that place now, outside of Eufala...

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4. Teaching Career and Marriage (1925–1929)

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pp. 68-93

Before Papa died, he told Mama, "I have always wanted to have a home for you and the children." They had had the one early in their marriage that they bought and lost. And he had never been able to get another...

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5. Hard Times and Florida Debut (1929–1933)

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pp. 94-116

When I decided to leave Jim Hayes, I decided there would be no more husbands for me. As long as I lived, there wouldn't be another man. I felt like all men were the same. That's bad, but that's what I thought...

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6. Settling in Jacksonville (1937–1943)

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pp. 117-136

In Jacksonville, I moved into James Myers's room on Beaver Street in a big old two-story house. But I kept asking him to get us a house. I didn't want to stay in a room. He'd say, "Well, we're going to get one, but we're going...

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7. Home on Castellano (1947–1956)

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pp. 137-158

When I was living at 1453 Davis Street, I was working for Mrs. Thompson. A low-income housing project was being built close to me, and I applied for a place in it. All indications had pointed towards me getting in a nice, new, clean house where...

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8. Get Up and Live! (1956– )

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pp. 159-181

Gradually I got involved with the local Baptist association and the Women's State Convention. The Emmanuel Progressive Baptist Association is our local group of about twenty-two churches in Jacksonville, banded together for missions and education...

E-ISBN-13: 9780820343563
E-ISBN-10: 0820343560
Print-ISBN-13: 9780820311418

Page Count: 200
Publication Year: 2012