The Making of "Mammy Pleasant"
A Black Entrepreneur in Nineteenth-Century San Francisco
Awards and Recognition:
Winner of the Barbara Penny Kanner Prize, Western Association of Women Historians, 2004.
Investigating Mary Ellen Pleasant's convoluted legacy
In The Making of "Mammy Pleasant," Lynn M. Hudson examines the folklore of Mary Ellen Pleasant's real and imagined powers. Addressing the lack of a historical record of black women's lives, Hudson argues that the silences and mysteries of Pleasant's past, whether never recorded or intentionally omitted, reveal as much about her life as what has been documented. The Making of "Mammy Pleasant" integrates fact and speculation culled from periodicals, court cases, diaries, letters, Pleasant's interviews with the San Francisco press, and various biographical and fictional accounts. Through Pleasant's remarkable life, Hudson also interrogates the constructions of race, gender, and sexuality during the formative years of California's economy and challenges popular mythology about the liberatory sexual culture of the American West.
"For more than a century, Mary Ellen Pleasant's reputation was as a voodoo queen, sorceress, madam and murderer. But thanks to [Hudson's] new book, the legendary San Franciscan is reclaiming her identity as a savvy businesswoman, gutsy heroine, and early champion of civil rights."--Los Angeles Times
"[Hudson] sifts through the scandal and the lore to conjure a remarkably enterprising woman."--San Francisco Examiner
"The author has captured an intriguing episode in the history of African Americans . . . this book is a fascinating read."--Journal of African American History
To order online:
To order by phone:
(800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada)
(773) 702-7000 (International)
The Black Arts Movement and Twenty-First-Century Aesthetics
Margo Natalie Crawford
Reinventing Black Womanhood in Washington, D.C.
Treva B. Lindsey
Edited by Horace Maxile, Jr.
Edited by Jennifer F. Hamer
American Identity from the Promise Keepers to the Million Mom March
Deborah Gray White
Intersections of Gender, Race, and Policy
Kia Lilly Caldwell
Black Chicago's Literary Landscape
Elizabeth Schroeder Schlabach
The Origins of Postwar Conservatism
Looking at Images of African American Suffering and Death
Courtney R. Baker
African American Athletes and Cold War Politics
Damion L. Thomas
Edited by Michael Ezra
The Intellectual Thought of Race Women
Brittney C. Cooper
Singing, Shouting, and the Shadow of Minstrelsy
Kenneth M. Hamilton
An Unauthorized Feminist Account of the NFL
Thomas P. Oates
The Spectacular Rise of a Black Power Icon