"A black woman's body was never hers alone" --Fannie Lou Hamer, Freedom Fighter
Rosa Parks is often described as a sweet elderly woman, whose tired feet caused her to defy the Jim Crow laws on Montgomery's city buses. Her supposedly solitary and spontaneous act, history tells us, sparked the 1955 bus boycott and gave birth to the civil rights movement. The truth of who Rosa Parks was and what really started the 1955 Boycott is far different than anything previously written. Danielle L. McGuire, brilliant historian, tells the never before told history of how the civil rights movement really began, how it was started in protest against the ritualistic rape of black women by white men, begun in 17th century America, continued unpunished throughout the Jim Crow period when white men abducted and assaulted black women, as a form of retribution or to enforce rules of racial and economic hierarchy; sexually humiliating and assaulting women on streetcars and buses, in taxis and trains. The author writes how sexual violence and interracial rape became a crucial battleground upon which African Americans sought to destroy white supremacy and gain personal and political autonomy; how civil rights campaigns had roots in organized resistance to sexual violence and appeals for protection of black womanhood. Often ignored by civil rights historians, we see how a number of campaigns led to trials and convictions throughout the South and how these cases, broke with Southern tradition, fracturing the philosophical and political foundations of white supremacy and challenging the relationship between sexual domination and racial equality. And at the center of it all, Rosa Parks, who in the 1940s, fifteen years before the Montgomery boycott, was a militant woman and an anti-rape seasoned activist, the great granddaughter of a fair skinned slave woman and a Yankee soldier. Her quiet demeanor and steely determination bravely doing battle against white supremacy.
©2010 Danielle L. McGuire (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
This book will make you cry.
It was similar to The Warmth of Other Suns in the vivid description of the Jim Crow South.
Miles is very easy to listen to.
What is truly amazing is that any group of people could survive the treatment that African people have survived in America. The organization and activism of the community, the courage and dignity of the individuals are all a lesson to inform those interested in organizing and activism and restoring the dignity that was stolen from us.
Get it and pass it on!
Great narrative history of a very unjustly forgotten aspect of the history of the U.S. civil Rights movement, movingly told by an excellent reader.
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