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Mexican American Folk Healing
Robert T. Trotter and Juan Antonio Chavira present an intimate view of not only how curanderismo is practiced but also how it is learned and passed on as a healing tradition. By providing a better understanding of why curanderos continue to be in demand despite the lifesaving capabilities of modern medicine, this text will serve as an indispensable resource to health professionals who work within Mexican American communities, to students of transcultural medicine, and to urban ethnologists and medical anthropologists.
Always, mortality threatens the lovers' embrace. In the title story, Jim and his HIV-positive partner contend with an illness that has fueled their love but also threatens to consume it. In some stories, an outsider exposes the frailty of a relationship. Claire, who's opted for a steady marriage in "The Loss of Green," is both stirred and repelled by the advances of her former mate Sam, a radical environmentalist with a predatory need to reassert his claim on her. And in "Behold the Handmaid of the Lord," Debbie, compelled to translate a brief affair with her cousin's fiancé into a profound transgression, comes clean on a sleazy national talk show.
All of Brady's stories are gritty and unflinching in their gaze, yet lyrical and rich in the imagery of stasis and change--an empty house too long on the market, a pair of kayakers riding out a patch of rough sea, a greenhouse in which the orchid blooms only suggest the darting vitality of butterflies and birds. There is much to learn in these tales of flawed but good people working hard to hold their lives together.
Born and reared in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, Ted Poston (1906-1974) became the first black career-long reporter for a major metropolitan daily (the New York Post) and served as a member of Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Negro Cabinet" in Washington in 1940. After thirty-five years at the Post, Poston was without question the "Dean of Black Journalists."
Acquainted with the major figures of the Harlem Renaissance, Poston regaled his associates with tales of his childhood. These memories resulted in the stories collected in The Dark Side of Hopkinsville. Told from the vantage point of "Ted," a bright, high-spirited student at Booker T. Washington Colored Grammar School, the stories focus on a coterie of imaginative children, their entertainments and games, ties to the church, and relations with immediate and extended families.
The memorable, recurring characters in the stories are based on individuals Poston knew: Cousin Blind Mary, a fortune teller who can see into someone's future only after consulting with the servants of the family in question; Ted's father, Ephraim, "the only Negro Democrat in our Hopkinsville, Kentucky, or in the whole state of Kentucky for that matter"; Fertilizer Ferguson, whom Ted credits with coining the phrase "eating higher up on the hog"; and Ted's schoolmate Knee Baby Watkins, the "catalytic agent who precipitated the most disasterous social feud in the history of Hopkinsville." Though the presence of prejudice--both within and outside the race--is acknowledged throughout the stories, that social reality does not lessen the characters' exuberant enjoyment of being young. After watching Bronco Billy and his black sidekick, Pistol Pete, at the nickel movie on Saturdays, Ted and his friends make Pistol Pete the hero and Bronco Billy the sidekick of their games in "The Werewolf of Woolworth's." In "The Revolt of the Evil Fairies," Ted uses Palmer's Skin Success ("guaranteed to give you a light complexion in just seven days") so that he can play Prince Charming opposite his fair-skinned sweetheart in the school play.
Kathleen A. Hauke has annotated the stories with recollections of the author's family and friends, who are often major characters in the stories. An extended biographical and critical introduction offers background information on the life and work of Ted Poston, and on old Hopkinsville and its residents.
William Seagrove Smith was a private in the signal corps of the Eighteenth Battalion, Georgia Infantry. Smith was part of the force defending Savannah until it fell in late 1864, and then marched with General William J. Hardee in his famous retreat out of the city and through the Carolinas. Like so many other soldiers on both sides of the conflict, William Smith fell not at the hands of an enemy but from disease. He died in Raleigh, North Carolina, on July 7, 1865. A parallel and complementary story about William's younger brother, Archibald, also emerges in the letters. As a cadet at Georgia Military Institute, Archibald was (as his parents fervently wished) exempt from service; however, he ultimately saw--and survived--action before the war's end.
Scattered among the many lines in the letters that are devoted to the two brothers are a wealth of particulars about agricultural, industrial, and social life in the family's north Georgia community of Roswell, the Smith family's flight from Sherman's invasion force, their lives as refugees in south Georgia, and a final reunion of the Smith brothers outside of Savannah just after the city's fall. Also included are a number of moving exchanges between the Smiths and the family that cared for William in his final days.
A brief history of the Smith family through 1863 begins the correspondence, while the letters following the war reveal their fortitude in the face of William's death and the hardships of Reconstruction. The volume concludes with selected letters from the subsequent generation of Smiths, who conjure images of the Old South and revive the memory of William. Like the most distinguished Civil War-era letter collections, The Death of a Confederate introduces a personal dimension to its story that is often lost in histories of this sweeping event.
Civil Rights and American Health Policy, 1935-1954
Plagued by geographic isolation, poverty, and acute shortages of health professionals and hospital beds, the South was dubbed by Surgeon General Thomas Parran “the nation’s number one health problem.” The improvement of southern, rural, and black health would become a top priority of the U.S. Public Health Service during the Roosevelt and Truman administrations.
Karen Kruse Thomas details how NAACP lawsuits pushed southern states to equalize public services and facilities for blacks just as wartime shortages of health personnel and high rates of draft rejections generated broad support for health reform. Southern Democrats leveraged their power in Congress and used the war effort to call for federal aid to uplift the South. The language of regional uplift, Thomas contends, allowed southern liberals to aid blacks while remaining silent on race. Reformers embraced, at least initially, the notion of “deluxe Jim Crow”—support for health care that maintained segregation. Thomas argues that this strategy was, in certain respects, a success, building much-needed hospitals and training more black doctors.
By the 1950s, deluxe Jim Crow policy had helped to weaken the legal basis for segregation. Thomas traces this transformation at the national level and in North Carolina, where “deluxe Jim Crow reached its fullest potential.” This dual focus allows her to examine the shifting alliances—between blacks and liberal whites, southerners and northerners, activists and doctors—that drove policy. Deluxe Jim Crow provides insight into a variety of historical debates, including the racial dimensions of state building, the nature of white southern liberalism, and the role of black professionals during the long civil rights movement.
Geopolitics and Geoeconomics at the U.S. Agency for International Development
A novel based on the life of Winnie Davis, Daughter of the Confederacy
Yet she was also a cosmopolitan, intellectual "New Woman" who earned a living as a journalist and novelist and traveled with the Joseph Pulitzers. Winnie's adoring followers often misread her steadfast love for her father as unconditional support of the failed Confederacy and the Old South's nostalgic ideals of womanhood. Julia Oliver explores these contradictions from several angles. Winnie speaks from the pages of her journal. Other narrators include Winnie's close friend Kate Pulitzer; her sister, Maggie Hayes; and the love of her life, Alfred Wilkinson, the grandson of a famous abolitionist.
From the portrayals of Winnie's romance, her relationships with her parents, her illness and depression, and her ambivalent role as torchbearer for the Lost Cause emerges a young woman whose conflicted existence reflects the tenor of the country in the aftermath of the Civil War. An intimate saga about a remarkable, star-crossed family, Devotion poignantly measures the massive weight of memory on individuals caught up in the sweep of history.