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Hurtin' Words – Debating Family Problems in the Twentieth-Century South - North Carolina Scholarship Online
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Hurtin' Words: Debating Family Problems in the Twentieth-Century South

Ted Ownby


When Tammy Wynette sang "D-I-V-O-R-C-E," she famously said she "spelled out the hurtin' words" to spare her child the pain of family breakup. In this innovative work, Ted Ownby considers how a wide range of writers, thinkers, activists, and others defined family problems in the twentieth-century American South. Ownby shows that it was common for both African Americans and whites to discuss family life in terms of crisis, but they reached very different conclusions about causes and solutions. In the civil rights period, many embraced an ideal of Christian brotherhood as a way of transcending di ... More

Keywords: Southern family, African American family, Brotherhood and sisterhood, Civil Rights Movement, Massive Resistance, Divorce Reform, Religious Right, Southern Rock Music, Alex Haley’s Roots

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9781469647005
Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2019 DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469647005.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ted Ownby, author
University of Mississippi