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Unlikely DissentersWhite Southern Women in the Fight for Racial Justice, 1920-1970$
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Anne Stefani

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780813060767

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813060767.001.0001

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date: 28 March 2020

After Brown, Part Two

After Brown, Part Two

Open Confrontation

(p.134) 4 After Brown, Part Two
Unlikely Dissenters

Anne Stefani

University Press of Florida

The focus turns here toward the radical wing of the older generation. Standing up against segregationists in a confrontational way, antagonizing moderates and white supremacists alike, urging their fellow southerners to repudiate white supremacy without delay, these women had to face social ostracism, harassment, and terrorism during the desegregation crisis. They are divided into moral and political radicals. The chapter first examines moral radicalism through Lillian Smith, Sarah Patton Boyle, and Juliette Hampton Morgan, then political radicalism through Anne Braden and Virginia Durr. All of these women had common features: they articulated a severe indictment of southern society and culture; they spoke up and did not shun publicity; appealing to each white southerner's conscience, they condemned moderates and gradualists as allies of the segregationists; and they antagonized their communities as a result of their public stance. Braden and Durr distinguished themselves from the others through their tolerance of Communism, which made them the targets of black- and red-baiting campaigns. Finally, the repression they endured heightened their awareness of the interaction of race and gender in their identity, laying the ground for their future emancipation from gender norms.

Keywords:   Radical, Segregationist, Southerner, Ostracism, Desegregation, Conscience, Gradualist, Communism, Black- and red-baiting, Gender

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