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Telling HistoriesBlack Women Historians in the Ivory Tower$
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Deborah Gray White

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780807832011

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807889121_white

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My History in History

My History in History

(p.85) My History in History
Telling Histories

Deborah Gray White

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter discusses a turning point in Deborah Gray White's life, which was also the point where she decided to become a historian. In the Southern Historical Association meeting of 2003, a session on the impact of White's first book, Ar'n't I a Woman?: Female Slaves in the Plantation South, was on the program. This recognition deeply honored and humbled White, but writing her response to the papers on that panel forced her to reflect on how she came to write and feel about the book. Two years later, White was again forced to reflect on her life as a historian as Ar'n't I a Woman? was again honored with a two-day conference at the Huntington Institute in Los Angeles and a session at the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians. Something curious began to happen to her as she accepted these tributes—twenty years after Ar'n't I a Woman? had been published. The tributes certainly filled White with pride, joy, and a sense of accomplishment, but they also left her feeling angry—a feeling that did not pass quickly.

Keywords:   Deborah Gray White, historian, Southern Historical Association, Huntington Institute, Berkshire Conference, Women Historians

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