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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: 04 April 2020

The 1960s Movement

The 1960s Movement

Modern Abolitionists

(p.179) 5 The 1960s Movement
Unlikely Dissenters

Anne Stefani

University Press of Florida

Chapter 5 is devoted to the women of the second generation, who came of age from the late 1950s to the 1960s and participated in the 1960s movement. This generation, less socially homogeneous than the first, committed itself to nonviolent direct confrontation with white supremacy. Moved by spiritual ideals, its members fought for the advent of universal brotherhood through the abolition of race, gender, and class barriers. The chapter analyzes their most salient features: they were students drawn to the movement by the sit-ins, Freedom Rides, and other nonviolent actions organized in the early 1960s; they were inspired by Christian principles and the nonviolent philosophy inherited from Thoreau and Gandhi; they were a minority in a predominantly black movement; most of them became estranged from their families and communities, but all ultimately freed themselves from segregationist culture as a result of their experience. Moreover, the chapter demonstrates how the movement reinforced southern sisterhood by bringing the gender issue to the surface, thus completing the process of white female emancipation started in the previous decades. It also emphasizes the continuity between the two generations of the study, several older women serving as role models and mentors for the young freedom activists.

Keywords:   Nonviolent direct action, Brotherhood, Student, Sit-in, Freedom Ride, Christian, Black movement, Southern sisterhood, Gender emancipation

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