Woman of Color, Daughter of Privilege: Amanda America Dickson, 1849-1893 (Brown Thrasher Books)

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9780820318714: Woman of Color, Daughter of Privilege: Amanda America Dickson, 1849-1893 (Brown Thrasher Books)
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This fascinating story of Amanda America Dickson, born the privileged daughter of a white planter and an unconsenting slave in antebellum Georgia, shows how strong-willed individuals defied racial strictures for the sake of family. Kent Anderson Leslie uses the events of Dickson's life to explore the forces driving southern race and gender relations from the days of King Cotton through the Civil War, Reconstruction, and New South eras.

Although legally a slave herself well into her adolescence, Dickson was much favored by her father and lived comfortably in his house, receiving a genteel upbringing and education. After her father died in 1885 Dickson inherited most of his half-million dollar estate, sparking off two years of legal battles with white relatives. When the Georgia Supreme Court upheld the will, Dickson became the largest landowner in Hancock County, Georgia, and the wealthiest black woman in the post-Civil War South.

Kent Anderson Leslie's portrayal of Dickson is enhanced by a wealth of details about plantation life; the elaborate codes of behavior for men and women, blacks and whites in the South; and the equally complicated circumstances under which racial transgressions were sometimes ignored, tolerated, or even accepted.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Kent Anderson Leslie is an assistant professor of women's studies at Oglethorpe University.

Review:

Excellent social history . . . Leslie's outstanding detective work illuminates issues of race and class in the life of a woman who escaped the limits of both.

(Publishers Weekly)

Leslie pieces together a story that provides a surprisingly detailed account of life in the nineteenth-century South.

(Booklist)

Leslie overcomes the limitations of her sources to provide new insights on the intersection of race, class, and gender in the postbellum South, through the life of this remarkable woman.

(Choice)

While painstakingly reconstructing the identity and experiences of a woman who was born a slave but raised as free, Leslie discovered and then described a South where day-to-day social relations often defied social prescription. . . . A lovingly written account of the life of a heretofore unknown southern woman. Yet it is much more than that. This slim volume is also eloquent testimony to a woman whose very identity and experiences called race-based slavery into question. It is there, where the unusual is portrayed as usual, that the book excels. For it is there that Leslie demonstrates that more open, or fluid, race relations could exist in the nineteenth-century South.

(Journal of American History)

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Book Description University of Georgia Press 10/1/1996, 1996. Paperback or Softback. Condition: New. Woman of Color, Daughter of Privlege: Amanda America Dickson, 1849-1893. Book. Seller Inventory # BBS-9780820318714

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Book Description University of Georgia Press, United States, 1996. Paperback. Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Woman of Color, Daughter of Privilege is the life story of an elite woman of color who lived within the social and economic systems of slavery and quasi-freedom in nineteenth-century Georgia. Antebellum Hancock County, Georgia, was a place where black slaves outnumbered white citizens by almost two to one; a place where education, culture, and even luxury were available to a small minority of the ruling race; a place where people often knew each other all their lives. It was also a place that permitted an elite, white male to father the child of a slave, raise the child as his own, and leave her the bulk of his estate. Born in 1849, Amanda America Dickson was taken from her mother after she was weaned to live with her father, David Dickson, and her grandmother, Elizabeth Dickson. Legally a slave until 1864, Amanda America was able to elude this status by wrapping herself in the cloak of her father s wealth and prestige. Although her mother continued to live and work in the Dickson household, Amanda America defined herself as a no nation among both her black relatives and white relatives. It was not until her father s death in 1885 that her independent social status as an elite mulatto lady was established. When the contents of David Dickson s will were revealed, the silence that had separated his private life from his public life was shattered. David Dickson made his mulatto daughter the largest property owner in the county. Amanda America Dickson s lawyers defended the will all the way to the Georgia Supreme Court, where the ruling of the lower court to honor David Dickson s will was upheld. After the trial, Amanda Dickson moved to Augusta, Georgia, where she bought a house in themost fashionable section of the city, married Nathan Toomer, the father of the African-American writer, Jean Toomer, and lived out her days there comfortably amid the notoriety of being David Dickson s illegitimate mulatto daughter and the wealthiest black woman in the South. As th. Seller Inventory # AAS9780820318714

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Book Description University of Georgia Press, United States, 1996. Paperback. Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Woman of Color, Daughter of Privilege is the life story of an elite woman of color who lived within the social and economic systems of slavery and quasi-freedom in nineteenth-century Georgia. Antebellum Hancock County, Georgia, was a place where black slaves outnumbered white citizens by almost two to one; a place where education, culture, and even luxury were available to a small minority of the ruling race; a place where people often knew each other all their lives. It was also a place that permitted an elite, white male to father the child of a slave, raise the child as his own, and leave her the bulk of his estate. Born in 1849, Amanda America Dickson was taken from her mother after she was weaned to live with her father, David Dickson, and her grandmother, Elizabeth Dickson. Legally a slave until 1864, Amanda America was able to elude this status by wrapping herself in the cloak of her father s wealth and prestige. Although her mother continued to live and work in the Dickson household, Amanda America defined herself as a no nation among both her black relatives and white relatives. It was not until her father s death in 1885 that her independent social status as an elite mulatto lady was established. When the contents of David Dickson s will were revealed, the silence that had separated his private life from his public life was shattered. David Dickson made his mulatto daughter the largest property owner in the county. Amanda America Dickson s lawyers defended the will all the way to the Georgia Supreme Court, where the ruling of the lower court to honor David Dickson s will was upheld. After the trial, Amanda Dickson moved to Augusta, Georgia, where she bought a house in themost fashionable section of the city, married Nathan Toomer, the father of the African-American writer, Jean Toomer, and lived out her days there comfortably amid the notoriety of being David Dickson s illegitimate mulatto daughter and the wealthiest black woman in the South. As th. Seller Inventory # AAS9780820318714

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