A Southern Family in White & Black: The Cuneys of Texas

By Douglas Hales | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 6
Maud Cuney

Education and Marriage

SHORTLY AFTER HER DEATH in 1936, W. E. B. Du Bois wrote: “Maud Cuney was the bravest woman I have ever known. For those born in adversity, fighting fate becomes a habit, rather than a virtue; but when one is born to the purple and is first in mid-life overwhelmed by successive and relentless blows of every kind of cruelty and adversity, then to keep one’s chin up, the eye unflinching, and the courage unfaltering, calls for the sort of soul men seldom see.” Throughout her adult life, “Du,” as Maud Cuney-Hare affectionately called him, remained her adviser and confidante. He perhaps knew her better than anyone else. Her correspondence with the famous black intellectual reveals an African American woman dedicated to music, literature, theater, and the “uplift” of her race. She continued to espouse her father’s ideals and never backed down in the face of racism. Maud Cuney, who became known as Cuney-Hare by also using the name of her second husband, lived a remarkable life of success achieved by few African American women in the early twentieth century. A daughter of Texas and a woman of Boston, she triumphed despite immense obstacles and personal tragedy1

Cuney-Hare belonged to a select group of early-twentieth-century African American professional women who succeeded outside the home. A graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, she and baritone William Richardson gave concerts across the eastern seaboard, often with the accompaniment of Arthur Fiedler at the cello. She created

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A Southern Family in White & Black: The Cuneys of Texas
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Chapter 1 - Politician and Slaveholder 3
  • Chapter 2 - Labor and Civic Leader 15
  • Chapter 3 - Political Education, 1869–83 40
  • Chapter 4 - New Leader of the Party 60
  • Chapter 5 - Party and Patronage 77
  • Chapter 6 - Maud Cuney 94
  • Chapter 7 - Musician, Director, Writer 108
  • Chapter 8 - Conclusion 138
  • Notes 143
  • Bibliography 163
  • Index 169
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