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Jesus, Jobs, and Justice: African American Women and Religion by Bettye Collier-Thomas
Publication Date: Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2014; Originally published New York: Knopf, 2010.
The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks by Jeanne Theoharis
Call Number: Essential Read
Publication Date: Boston: Beacon Press, 2013
The definitive political biography of Rosa Parks examines her six decades of activism, challenging perceptions of her as an accidental actor in the civil rights movement Presenting a corrective to the popular notion of Rosa Parks as the quiet seamstress who, with a single act, birthed the modern civil rights movement, Theoharis provides a revealing window into Parks's politics and years of activism. She shows readers how this civil rights movement radical sought-for more than a half a century-to expose and eradicate the American racial-caste system in jobs, schools, public services, and criminal justice.
Freedom's Daughters: The Unsung Heroines of the Civil Rights Movement by Lynne Olson
Publication Date: New York: Scribner, 2001
The first comprehensive history of the role of women in the civil rights movement, Freedom's Daughters fills a startling gap in both the literature of civil rights and of women's history. Lynne Olson offers a remarkable corrective to the standard history as she tells the long overlooked story of the extraordinary women, both black and white, who were among the most fearless, resourceful, and tenacious leaders of the civil rights movement. From the abolitionist and suffragist movements to women's liberation, Olson proves that the political activity of women has been the thread connecting the big reform movements from the 1830s to 1970. Into this context, then, she introduces portraits and cameos of more than sixty women -- many until now forgotten and some never before written about -- from the key figures (Pauli Murray, Ida Wells, Eleanor Roosevelt, Ella Baker, and Septima Clark, among others) whose activism spanned several different movements and decades to some of the smaller players who represent the hundreds and hundreds of women who each came forth to do her own small part and who together ultimately formed the mass movements that made the difference.
Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts by Women in SNCC by edited by Faith S. Holsaert, et al
Publication Date: Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2010
Lighting the Fires of Freedom: African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement by Janet Dewart Bell
Publication Date: New York: The New Press, 2018
Deep in Our Hearts: Nine White Women in the Freedom Movement by Constance Curry; Sue Thrasher; Joan C. Browning; Dorothy Dawson Burlage; Emmie Schrader Adams; Elaine DeLott Baker; Sandra Cason; Theresa Del Pozzo; Penelope Patch
Publication Date: Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2000
Deep in Our Hearts is an eloquent and powerful book that takes us into the lives of nine young women who came of age in the 1960s while committing themselves actively and passionately to the struggle for racial equality and justice. These compelling first-person accounts take us back to one of the most tumultuous periods in our nation's history--to the early days of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the Albany Freedom Ride, voter registration drives and lunch counter sit-ins, Freedom Summer, the 1964 Democratic Convention, and the rise of Black Power and the women's movement. The book delves into the hearts of the women to ask searching questions. Why did they, of all the white women growing up in their hometowns, cross the color line in the days of segregation and join the Southern Freedom Movement? What did they see, do, think, and feel in those uncertain but hopeful days? And how did their experiences shape the rest of their lives?
Unlikely Dissenters: White Southern Women in the Fight for Racial Justice, 1920-1970 by Anne Stefani
Publication Date: Gainesville : University Press of Florida, 2015
Between 1920 and 1970, a small but significant number of white women confronted the segregationist system in the American South, ultimately contributing to its demise. For many of these reformers, the struggle for African American civil rights was akin to their own complex process of personal emancipation from gender norms. As part of the white community, they wrestled with guilt as members of the "oppressor" group. Yet as women in a patriarchal society, they were also "victims." This paradoxical double identity enabled them to develop a special brand of activism that combatted white supremacy while emancipating them from white patriarchy. Using the 1954 Brown decision as a pivot, Anne Stefani examines and compares two generations of white women who spoke out against Jim Crow while remaining deeply attached to their native South. She demonstrates how their unique grassroots community-oriented activism functioned within--and even used to its advantage--southern standards of respectability.
At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance - a New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power by Danielle L. McGuire
Publication Date: New York: Knopf, 2010
In this groundbreaking and important book, Danielle McGuire writes about the rape in 1944 of a twenty-four-year-old mother and sharecropper, Recy Taylor, who strolled toward home after an evening of singing and praying at the Rock Hill Holiness Church in Abbeville, Alabama. Seven white men, armed with knives and shotguns, ordered the young woman into their green Chevrolet, raped her, and left her for dead. The president of the local NAACP branch office sent his best investigator and organizer to Abbeville. Her name was Rosa Parks. In taking on this case, Parks launched a movement that ultimately changed the world. The Montgomery bus boycott was the baptism, not the birth, of that struggle. At the Dark End of the Street describes the decades of degradation black women on the Montgomery city buses endured on their way to cook and clean for their white bosses. It reveals how Rosa Parks, by 1955, one of the most radical activists in Alabama, had had enough. "There had to be a stopping place" she said, "and this seemed to be the place for me to stop being pushed around." Parks refused to move from her seat on the bus, was arrested, and, with fierce activist Jo Ann Robinson, organized a one-day bus boycott. The protest, intended to last twenty-four hours, became a yearlong struggle for dignity and justice. It broke the back of the Montgomery city bus lines and bankrupted the company. We see how and why Rosa Parks, instead of becoming a leader of the movement she helped to start, was turned into a symbol of virtuous black womanhood, sainted and celebrated for her quiet dignity, prim demeanor, and middle-class propriety; her radicalism all but erased. And we see as well how thousands of black women whose courage and fortitude helped to transform America were reduced to the footnotes of history.
Too Heavy a Load: Black Women in Defense of Themselves, 1894-1994 by Deborah Gray White
Publication Date: New York: W. W. Norton, 1998
Too Heavy a Load celebrates this century's rich history of black women defending themselves, from Ida B. Wells to Anita Hill. Although most prominently a history of the century-long struggle against racism and male chauvinism, Deborah Gray White also movingly illuminates black women's painful struggle to hold their racial and gender identities intact while feeling the inexorable pull of the agendas of white women and black men. Finally, it tells the larger and lamentable story of how Americans began this century measuring racial progress by the status of black women but gradually came to focus on the status of black men-the masculinization of America's racial consciousness. Writing with the same magisterial eye for historical detail as in her best-selling Ar'n't I a Woman, Deborah Gray White has given us a moving and definitive history of struggle and freedom.
The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century by Grace Lee Boggs with Scott Kurashige; Foreward by Danny Glover
Publication Date: Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012
This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, 4th ed. by Ed. by Gloria Anzaldúa and Cherríe Moraga
Publication Date: Albany: State University of New York (SUNY) Press, 2015
Updated and expanded edition of a foundational collection of writings by women of color feminism.