In 1968, Winthrop D. Jordan published his groundbreaking workWhite Over Black: American Attitudes toward the Negro, 1550-1812and opened up new avenues for thinking about sex, slavery, race, and religion in American culture. Over the course of a forty-year career at the University of California and the University of Mississippi, he continued to write about these issues and to train others to think in new ways about interactions of race, gender, faith, and power.
Written by former students of Jordan, these essays are a tribute to the career of one of America's great thinkers and perhaps the most influential American historian of his generation. The book visits historical locales from Puritan New England and French Louisiana to nineteenth-century New York and Mississippi, all the way to Harlem swing clubs and college campuses in the twentieth century. In the process, authors listen to the voices of abolitionists and white supremacists, preachers and politicos, white farm women and black sorority sisters, slaves, and jazz musicians.
Each essay represents an important contribution to the collection's larger themes and at the same time illustrates the impact Jordan exerted on the scholarly life of each author. Collectively, these pieces demonstrate the attentiveness to detail and sensitivity to sources that are hallmarks of Jordan's own work.
David J. Libby, San Antonio, Texas, is the author ofSlavery and Frontier Mississippi: 1720-1835(University Press of Mississippi). Paul Spickard, Santa Barbara, California, is the co-editor ofRacial Thinking in the United States: Uncompleted Independenceand the author ofMixed Blood: Intermarriage and Ethnic Identity in Twentieth-Century America. Susan Ditto, Oxford, Mississippi, is the associate editor ofMississippi Women: Their Histories, Their Lives.