The Vice President's Black Wife
The Untold Life of Julia Chinn
By Amrita Chakrabarti Myers
Approx. 304 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 20 halftones, 1 map, 1 graph, notes, bibl., index
For Sale in North America Only
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-7523-7
Published: October 2023
Ferris and Ferris Books
Hardcover Available October 2023, but pre-order your copy today!
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What makes Chinn's life exceptional is the power that Johnson invested in her, the opportunities the couple's relationship afforded her and her daughters, and their community's tacit acceptance of the family—up to a point. When the family left their farm, they faced steep limits: pews at the rear of church, burial in separate graveyards, exclusion from town dances, and more. Outliving Chinn, Johnson was ruined politically by his relationship with her, and Myers compellingly demonstrates that it wasn't interracial sex that led to his downfall but his refusal to keep it—and Julia Chinn—behind closed doors.
About the Author
Amrita Chakrabarti Myers is the Ruth N. Halls Associate Professor of History and gender studies at Indiana University Bloomington. She is the author of Forging Freedom: Black Women and the Pursuit of Liberty in Antebellum Charleston.
For more information about Amrita Chakrabarti Myers, visit the Author Page.
"A meticulously researched biography of a woman who should be better known. Myers shows how a Black woman and her kin contributed to state and national politics but, because of their race, status, and gender, have been purposely forgotten or misremembered by the general public and historians. This work of recovery is a major intervention in terms of sound historical scholarship, methods, and development of possible future directions."—Hilary Green, author of Educational Reconstruction: African American Schools in the Urban South, 1865–1890