Freedom's Daughters: The Unsung Heroines of the Civil Rights Movement from 1830 to 1970

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, 2001 - History - 460 pages
9 Reviews
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. Stokely Carmichael, Andrew Young, John Lewis, and other well-known leaders of the civil rights movement have admitted that women often had the ideas for which men took credit. In this groundbreaking book, credit finally goes where credit is due -- to the bold women who were crucial to the movement's success and who refused to give up the fight. From the Montgomery bus boycott to the lunch counter sit-ins to the Freedom Rides, Lynne Olson's Freedom's Daughters 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. Reminding us that the story of women fighting for civil rights began much earlier than the 1950s and 1960s, Olson puts the formal civil rights movement into the context of a much larger history of women's activism. 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 hundredsand 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. As one male activist said of the movement in Mississippi: It was a woman's war. This is the story of women making difficult choices, trying to balance lives as wives and mothers with their all-consuming work, defying society's standards of proper female behavior. It's the story of indomitable black women like Diane Nash who refused to give up the civil rights fight, even as the formal movement collapsed, and of white female civil rights activists mourning the loss of their old movement while helping to launch a new one -- the battle for women's rights. Freedom's Daughters puts a human face on the civil rights struggle -- and shows that that face was often female.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
5
4 stars
3
3 stars
1
2 stars
0
1 star
0

Review: Freedom's Daughters: The Unsung Heroines of the Civil Rights Movement from 1830 to 1970

User Review  - Marilena Amoni - Goodreads

I was impressed with the depth and scope of the book, and how well written it was. I can't believe how much I didn't know about the role of women, black and white, and men in the civil rights movement. Read full review

Review: Freedom's Daughters: The Unsung Heroines of the Civil Rights Movement from 1830 to 1970

User Review  - Lonni - Goodreads

Read at the same time I was reading the last of the Taylor Branch books on the main Civil Rights Movement. Amazing how women get left out of mainstream books, and yet there is enough info to fill a fascinating, readable book! Read full review

Contents

Preface
13
Far More Terrible for Women
19
She Has Shaken This Country
33
Getting Them Comfortable with Rebellion
52
Lighting the Fuse 15
75
There Had to Be a Stopping Place
87
Our Leaders Is Just We Ourself 11 o 7 She Kept Daring Us to Go Further
132
The Most Daring of Our Leaders
151
A Woman s War
248
We Assumed We Were Equal
264
We Cant Deal with Her
278
Standing in the Minefield
291
We Didnt Come All This Wayfor No Two Seats
313
This Inevitable Horrible Greek Tragedy
331
The Woman Question
350
We Were Asked to Deny a Part of Ourselves
369

Being White Does Not Answer Tour Problems
163
She Never Listened to a Word
182
We Are Not Going to Take This Anymore
200
The Cobwebs A re Moving from My Brain
213
I Had Never Heard That Voice Before
225
Black and White Together
239
We Got to Keep Moving
382
Epilogue
397
Abbreviations for Sources
411
Bibliography
435
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2001)

Lynne Olson and her husband, Stanley Cloud, cowrote The Murrow Boys: Pioneers on the Front Lines of Broadcast Journalism. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and daughter.

Bibliographic information