In Earline’s Pink Party Elizabeth Findley Shores sifts through her family’s scattered artifacts to understand her grandmother’s life in relation to the troubled racial history of Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
A compelling, genre-bending page-turner, Earline’s Pink Party: The Social Rituals and Domestic Relics of a Southern Woman analyzes the life of a small-city matron in the Deep South. A combination of biography, material culture analysis, social history, and memoir, this volume offers a new way of thinking about white racism through Shores’s conclusion that Earline’s earliest childhood experiences determined her worldview.
Set against a fully drawn background of geography and culture and studded with detailed investigations of social rituals (such as women’s parties) and objects (such as books, handwritten recipes, and fabric scraps), Earline’s Pink Party tells the story of an ordinary woman, the grandmother Shores never knew. Looking for more than the details and drama of bourgeois Southern life, however, the author digs into generations of family history to understand how Earline viewed the racial terror that surrounded her during the Jim Crow years in this fairly typical southern town.
Shores seeks to narrow a gap in the scholarship of the American South, which has tended to marginalize and stereotype well-to-do white women who lived after Emancipation. Exploring her grandmother’s home and its contents within the context of Tuscaloosa society and historical events, Shores evaluates the belief that women like Earline consciously engaged in performative rituals in order to sustain the “fantastical” view of the white nobility and the contented black underclass. With its engaging narrative, illustrations, and structure, this fascinating book should interest scholars of memory, class identity, and regional history, as well as sophisticated lay readers who enjoy Southern history, foodways, genealogy, and material culture.
Melissa J. Delbridge University of Iowa Press, 2008 Library of Congress CT275.D34157A3 2008 | Dewey Decimal 976.184063092
"Swimming and sex seemed a lot alike to me when I was growing up. You took off most of your clothes to do them and you only did them with people who were the same color as you. As your daddy got richer, you got to do them in fancier places." Starting with her father, who never met a whitetail buck he couldn't shoot, a whiskey bottle he couldn't empty, or a woman he couldn't charm, and her mother, who "invented road rage before 1960," Melissa Delbridge introduces us to the people in her own family bible. Readers will find elements of Southern Gothic and familiar vernacular characters, but Delbridge endows each with her startling and original interpretation. In this disarmingly unguarded and unapologetic memoir, she shows us what really happened in the "stew of religion and sex" that was 1960s Tuscaloosa.
The rollicking tales of Old Southwestern humor were a distinctive contribution to American folk culture provided by the frontiersmen of the South and Southwest, a tradition brought to its highest form in the work of Mark Twain. Among the precursors of Twain was John Gorman Barr of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Like Twain, Barr grew up in a river town, worked in a printing office, and traveled widely; and again like Twain, Barr drew upon the people and places of his home region as the primary sources for his tales.
In addition to the pure entertainment Barr’s stories provide, they also furnish a comprehensive picture of Tuscaloosa and western Alabama in the 1850s—the roaring river town coexisting uneasily with the intellectual sophistication of the recently established University of Alabama.
Thirteen Loops: Race, Violence, and the Last Lynching in America recounts the story of three innocent victims, all of whom suffered violent deaths through no fault of their own: Vaudine Maddox in 1933 in Tuscaloosa, Sergeant Gene Ballard in 1979 in Birmingham, and Michael Donald in 1981 in Mobile.
The death of Vaudine Maddox—and the lynchings that followed—serves as a cautionary tale about the violence that occurred in the same region nearly fifty-years later, highlighting the cowardice, ignorance, and happenstance that sustained a culture of racial intolerance far into the future.Nearly half a century later, after a black bank robber was acquitted for the murder of police Sergeant Gene Ballard, two Klansmen took it upon themselves to exact revenge on an innocent victim--nineteen-year-old African American Michael Donald. Donald's murder--deemed the last lynching in America--reignited the race debate in America and culminated in a courtroom drama in which the United Klans of America were at long last put on trial.
While tracing the relationships among these murders, B. J. Hollars's research led him deep into the heart of Alabama’s racial, political, and legal landscapes. A work of literary journalism, Thirteen Loops draws upon rarely examined primary sources, court documents, newspaper reports, and first-hand accounts in an effort to unravel the twisted tale of a pair of interconnected murders that forever altered United States' race relations.
Winner of Alabama Historical Association's 2020 Clinton Jackson Coley Book Award!
A lavishly illustrated history of this distinctive city’s origins as a settlement on the banks of the Black Warrior River to its development into a thriving nexus of higher education, sports, and culture
In both its subject and its approach, Tuscaloosa: 200 Years in the Making is an account unlike any other of a city unlike any other—storied, inimitable, and thriving. G. Ward Hubbs has written a lively and enlightening bicentennial history of Tuscaloosa that is by turns enthralling, dramatic, disturbing, and uplifting. Far from a traditional chronicle listing one event after another, the narrative focuses instead on six key turning points that dramatically altered the fabric of the city over the past two centuries.
The selection of this frontier village as the state capital gave rise to a building boom, some extraordinary architecture, and the founding of The University of Alabama. The state’s secession in 1861 brought on a devastating war and the burning of the university by Union cavalry; decades of social adjustments followed, ultimately leading to legalized racial segregation. Meanwhile, town boosters set out to lure various industries, but with varying success.
The decision to adopt new inventions, ranging from electricity to telephones to automobiles, revolutionized the daily lives of Tuscaloosans in only a few short decades. Beginning with radio, and followed by the Second World War and television, the formerly isolated townspeople discovered an entirely different world that would culminate in Mercedes-Benz building its first overseas production plant nearby. At the same time, the world would watch as Tuscaloosa became the center of some pivotal moments in the civil rights movement—and great moments in college football as well.
An impressive amount of research is collected in this accessibly written history of the city and its evolution. Tuscaloosa is a versatile history that will be of interest to a general readership, for scholars to use as a starting point for further research, and for city and county school students to better understand their home locale.
The University of Alabama: A Guide to the Campusand Its Architecture is a richly illustrated guidebook to the architecture and development of the University of Alabama’s campus as it has evolved over the last two centuries.
In 1988 the University of Alabama Press published Robert Oliver Mellown’s The University of Alabama: A Guide to the Campus, a culmination of a decade’s worth of research into both the facts and the legends surrounding the architecture, history, and traditions of the Capstone.
Over twenty years later, this new guide brings to light the numerous additions, expansions, and renovations the university has undergone on its spacious grounds in Tuscaloosa. In addition to updated sections devoted to the university’s historic landmarks—such as Foster Auditorium, where “the stand in the schoolhouse door” occurred; Denny Chimes,where the handprints and footprints of famous Tide athletes are memorialized in concrete; and the Gorgas House, which with stood the destruction of Union troops at the end of the Civil War—new sections account for the acquisition of Bryce Hospital’s campus, the expansions at Bryant-Denny Stadium to accommodate the growing Crimson Tide fan base, and the burgeoning student recreation facilities, playing fields, and residential communities.
Chapters are arranged into various campus tours for walking or driving—Antebellum, Victorian, Early Twentieth-Century, East Quad, West Quad, Science and Engineering Corridor, Student Life, Bryce, Medical, Southeast, Athletics, and Off Campus. Alumni, prospective students and their parents, new faculty, out-of-state visitors, and foreign dignitaries will all welcome this useful, compact, and colorful guide to one of the most beautiful campuses in the country.
A coming-of-age memoir evoking farm, mining, and small-town life in Alabama’s Tuscaloosa County as the world transitions from the Great Depression to World War II
In the 1930s, the rural South was in the throes of the Great Depression. Farm life was monotonous and hard, but a timid yet curious teenager thought it worth recording. Aileen Kilgore Henderson kept a chronicle of her family’s daily struggles in Tuscaloosa County alongside events in the wider world she gleaned from shortwave radio and the occasional newspaper. She wrote about Howard Hughes’s round-the-world flight and her horror at the rise to power in Germany of a bizarre politician named Adolf Hitler. Henderson longed to join the vast world beyond the farm, but feared leaving the refuge of her family and beloved animals.
Yet, with her father’s encouragement, she did leave, becoming a clerk in the Kress dime store in downtown Tuscaloosa. Despite long workdays and a lengthy bus commute, she continued to record her observations and experiences in her diary, for every day at the dime store was interesting and exciting for an observant young woman who found herself considering new ideas and different points of view.
Drawing on her diary entries from the 1930s and early 1940s, Henderson recollects a time of sweeping change for Tuscaloosa and the South. The World through the Dime Store Door is a personal and engaging account of a Southern town and its environs in transition told through the eyes of a poor young woman with only a high school education but gifted with a lively mind and an openness to life.