- Memphis Tennessee Garrison: The Remarkable Story of a Black Appalachian Woman ed. by Ancella R. Bickley, Lynda Ann Ewen (review)
- Ohio Valley History
- The Filson Historical Society and Cincinnati Museum Center
- Volume 4, Number 2, Summer 2004
- pp. 70-71
- View Citation
- Additional Information
BOOK REVIEWS Ancella R. Bickley and Lynda Ann Ewen, eds. Memphis Tennessee Garrison:Tbe Remarkable Story of a Black Appalacbian Woman. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2001. 249 pp. ISBN: 0821413740 paper), $ 17.95. 4* i**%-* D agreement' s reach,he nonetheless publicly stated on March 16, 1919, that if the choice were between the League treaty as submitted or insisting that it be renegotiated, " I should, without the slightest fear as to the complete safety of my couiltry under its provisions,vote for it as the greatest step in recorded history in the betterntent of international relations for the benefit of the people of the world and for the benefit of my country." ( 263) One :3 -=». year later,Taft elaborated on that : t, position by stating publicly that,had he been a senator in 1919,he would have voted for the League treaty as submitted, rather than permit its ... , rejection by the Senate. ( xiii) In » taking that stand, Taft broke with 2 ' «· i such old Republican colleagues as Elihu Root,Philander C. Knox,and U S. " I Henry Cabot Lodge. Thus, this volume of the Taft papers provides a timely reminder of a longstand ing internationalist tradition among moderate conservatives in the United States. The editors and publisher also deserve commendation for presenting this material in an attractive,easyto read edition, which replaces an earlier volume in an edition of the Taft papers that Macmillan published in 1920, although the editors might have noted at the start of each selection where it came from rather than putting that informatic, n at the end. That quibble aside,this is a fine piece of work that scholars and educated general readers will find useful. David Stebe, ine Obic)State University uring her lifetime, Memphis Tennessee Garrison estab42 **, ji„,./ lished chapters of the National ' '4' Association for the Advancement MA : ««* of Colored People, organized Girl 6 *T#*Scout troops for young African®tfs» American girls, created a curricu22 !* lum designed to educate children with learning disabilities,organized 3 »'«%» * f her own breakfast program for her needy students during the Depression , served as mediator between 2, * 1% black labor and management for U.S. Steel, and started a " Negro Artist Series" that brought nationally and internationally renowned artists to West Virginia. Through Garrison's story we become privy to the intricacies that comprised the lives of African Americans living in the coal towns of West Virginia during the age ofJim Crow. And we come to understand how meaning can be derived from both individual and collective experiences. Garrison's life, fascinating as the editors of this book suggest,was in fused with what on the surface appear to be contradictions, but when viewed more closely serve as evidence of her ability to successfully reconcile her role in conflicting positi ons. While Garrison tells her story in a very matterof fact way,with an air of nonchalance,she clearly possessed a keen understanding of the significance of the contributions she made as an educator,politician , and community activist. But readers learn little about the emotional toll that Garrison bore as a public figure. A poignant example may be seen in her discussion of how her support of Joe Parsons, a black man running for sheriff in Keystone,West OHIO VALLEY HISTORY 70 Virginia,led to her suspension from teaching duties fc, r an etitire year. ( 132) Garrison also cites other examples of retaliatory measures taken against her for violating the racial code of etiquette. but provides little insight into how she dealt with these assaults on a personal level. % he inakes it clear that she fc, und much spiritual strength in her Christian faith, but who besides her mother sustained her emotionally? The editors note the existence of these silences and gaps in Garrison s story. However, they fail to provide any context that might help in explaining these gaps, context that could have been established using interviews with Garrison's friends and acquaintances that are printed in the epilogue of this book. Moreover.the editors did little to situate Ciarrison's stc,n' within the laruer cc) ntext of women's activism, as the> did for the hist(, ry of the state of West...