Crossing the Line: Women's Interracial Activism in South by Cherisse Jones-Branch PDF

By Cherisse Jones-Branch

“Combines a extraordinary quantity of shut examine with a deep figuring out of the function of gender within the making of the liberty fight. This ebook will carry a spot of honor at the starting to be shelf of scholarship at the move in South Carolina.”—W. Scott Poole, writer of Monsters in the USA: Our ancient Obsession with the Hideous and the Haunting


“Rediscovering attention-grabbing black and white girls, Jones-Branch thoughtfully analyzes how they endeavored to alter South Carolina’s racial climate.”—Marcia G. Synnott, writer of The Half-Opened Door: Discrimination and Admissions at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, 1900–1970



Although they have been conversant in a segregated society, many girls in South Carolina—both black and white, either separately and collectively—worked to alter their state’s unequal racial establishment. during this quantity, Cherisse Jones-Branch explores the early activism of black girls in businesses together with the NAACP, the South Carolina revolutionary Democratic occasion, and the South Carolina Federation of coloured Women’s golf equipment. whilst, she discusses the involvement of white girls in such teams because the YWCA and Church ladies United. Their agendas usually conflicted and their makes an attempt at interracial activism have been frequently futile, yet those black and white ladies had an identical objective: to enhance black South Carolinians’ entry to political and academic institutions.

Examining the tumultuous years in the course of and after global struggle II, Jones-Branch contends that those ladies are the unsung heroes of South Carolina’s civil rights historical past. Their efforts to move the racial divide in South Carolina helped set the foundation for the wider civil rights move of the Sixties and 1970s.



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Extra resources for Crossing the Line: Women's Interracial Activism in South Carolina during and after World War II

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Simply affiliating with the national UCCW did not mean that the local chapters were prepared to implement its racial agenda. UCCW of Columbia did not actively welcome black women, and it addressed social issues primarily by providing funds for segregated institutions. 93 They also supported a day nursery at the college. However, black women were hesitant to make use of it, a point white women made note of in their minutes. Understandably, black women probably did not trust their intentions and turned to predominantly black women’s organizations for assistance.

However, black women and many black South Carolinians wanted not only improvements in black schools but also access to predominantly white ones. Church women’s most vital activism often occurred not in individual 26 · Crossing the Line churches or denominations but in female-led Protestant ecumenical organizations with religious foundations. ”87 The UCCW, which included millions of Protestant church women worldwide, never questioned black women’s inclusion in the organization. ” As a matter of course, annual and regular meetings were integrated.

2 In the years following World War II, black women, as individuals and as mem- 42 · Crossing the Line bers of mixed-gender and integrated organizations, continued to focus on issues that disproportionately affected their communities. In doing so, they found that some white women supported their increasingly aggressive racial agenda. Although black women welcomed white women’s efforts for interracial understanding and cooperation in the 1940s, they increasingly sought more tangible change, including obtaining the long-sought-after right to vote.

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