Southern Black Women in the Modern Civil Rights Movement

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Bruce A. Glasrud, Merline Pitre
Texas A&M University Press, 2013 - History - 236 pages
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WINNER 2013 of the Liz Carpenter Award for Research in the History of Women, presented by the Texas State Historical Association

Throughout the South, black women were crucial to the Civil Rights Movement, serving as grassroots and organizational leaders. They protested, participated, sat in, mobilized, created, energized, led particular efforts, and served as bridge builders to the rest of the community. Ignored at the time by white politicians and the media alike, with few exceptions they worked behind the scenes to effect the changes all in the movement sought. Until relatively recently, historians, too, have largely ignored their efforts.

Although African American women mobilized all across Dixie, their particular strategies took different forms in different states, just as the opposition they faced from white segregationists took different shapes. Studies of what happened at the state and local levels are critical not only because of what black women accomplished, but also because their activism, leadership, and courage demonstrated the militancy needed for a mass movement.

In this volume, scholars address similarities and variations by providing case studies of the individual states during the 1950s and 1960s, laying the groundwork for more synthetic analyses of the circumstances, factors, and strategies used by black women in the former Confederate states to destroy the system of segregation in this country.

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About the author (2013)

BRUCE A. GLASRUD is the retired dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Sul Ross State University and a professor emeritus of history at California State University, Hayward. His most recent title for Texas A&M University Press is African Americans in South Texas History (2011).
MERLINE PITRE is a professor of history at Texas Southern University. She coedited (with Bruce A. Glasrud) Black Women in Texas History (Texas A&M University Press, 2008) and is the author of In Struggle against Jim Crow: Lulu B. White and the NAACP, 1900–1957 (Texas A&M University Press, 1999). She is a past president of the Texas State Historical Association.

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