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Talk with You Like a WomanAfrican American Women, Justice, and Reform in New York, 1890-1935$
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Cheryl D. Hicks

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834244

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807882320_hicks

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I don't Live on My Sister, I Living of Myself

I don't Live on My Sister, I Living of Myself

Parole, Gender, and Black Families, 1905–1935

(p.237) 8 I don't Live on My Sister, I Living of Myself
Talk with You Like a Woman

Cheryl D. Hicks

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter focuses on Lucy Cox, and how the black North Carolina native admitted that she had made mistakes, one of which landed her in the New York State Reformatory for Women at Bedford for prostitution. Cox believed that at the age of twenty-four she could take charge of her life, deal with her missteps, and learn from them. She was frustrated that her release from prison was contingent upon continued surveillance by an approved custodian as well as her parole officer. Her strong will and sense of independence made her resent the fact that her relatives were responsible for reporting on her behavior. Cox's anger about the parole process provides insight into black women's relationships with their relatives. More importantly, her demand that she be allowed to “talk” with the prison superintendent “like a woman” demonstrates how black women parolees attempted to voice their concerns about the parole process and to negotiate difficult relationships with family members and parole officers who believed they lacked the ability to take care of themselves.

Keywords:   Lucy Cox, prison, Bedford, prostitution, parole officer, independence

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