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Other titles in the Palgrave Studies in Oral History series:
No Room of Her Own: Women's Stories of Homelessness, Life, Death, and Resistance (Palgrave Studies in Oral History)by Desiree Hellegers
Synopses & Reviews
This moving collection brings together the stories of fifteen women who share the common experience of homelessness. Drawing on interviews conducted in Seattle, Washington over the course of nearly two decades, these accounts range across the United States, from New York to Louisiana to Los Angeles. Included here are memories of living in the South at the tail end of Jim Crow, of growing up gay and Black in the Pacific Northwest in the 1960s, and of surviving childhood abuse in Harlan, Kentucky in the 1970s. These women reveal the formidable struggles they face every day, from catastrophic health issues to routine threats of physical and sexual assault. But they also speak about their own intellectual interests and spiritual lives, and their activism with organizations such as Women in Black, which has held vigils to mark the deaths and honor the lives of the hundreds who have died homeless in the city that spawned Microsoft, Starbucks, and the WTO protests. Illuminating the rich and complicated humanity of its narrators, this book challenges stereotypes about homeless people and provides jarring, unforgettable insights--taken from shelters, drop-in centers, and the streets--into civil society in the United States.
This oral history collection brings together extended interviews with fifteen women who share the common experience of homelessness. While all the interviews were conducted in Seattle, Washington between 1991 and 2008, the women’s stories zigzag across the country, from Baltimore and New York City, to Louisiana and Kentucky, to Los Angeles and San Francisco. The narrators recount stories of growing up in the south at the tail end of Jim Crow, of growing up gay and Black in the Pacific Northwest in the 1960s, and of surviving childhood molestation in Harlan, Kentucky in the 1970s. The stories illuminate the part that gender roles play in ensnaring women in cycles of domestic abuse and homelessness. They speak to the physical stresses of homelessness, and the toll it takes on bodies already weakened by high blood pressure, strokes, sickle cell anemia, and epilepsy and the routine threats of physical violence that homeless women in particular encounter on the street. At the same time, these accounts move beyond monolithic stereotypes about the homeless, revealing their narrators' diverse experiences and rich, complicated humanity.
About the Author
Desiree Hellegers is Co-Director of the Center for Social and Environmental Justice, Associate Chair and Associate Professor of English at Washington State University, Vancouver. She is an active member of various advocacy organizations and her writing has appeared in such publications as Counterpunch.
Table of Contents
Mama Pam * Annamarie Tailfeathers * Elizabeth Thatcher * Sweet Pea * Debra Martinson * Anitra Freeman * Roxane Roberts * Loann Winston * Mona Caudill Joyner * Jessie Pedro * Marie * Janice Connelly * Flower * Arnette Adams * Marlowe
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History and Social Science » Politics » Leftist Studies