FDL Book Salon Welcomes Jeanne Theoharis: The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks

By: Saturday February 23, 2013 1:59 pm

It’s one thing to be at the center of a culture-shifting event, and something else entirely to continue to live your life while the rest of the world reacts to that event — and you — for the rest of your life. You are not only changed by the event itself, but continue to be shaped by the reactions that others have to it, and they way they interpret what you have done.

In her portrait of Rosa Parks, Jeanne Theoharis invites her readers to distinguish between these two things, and in so doing, she leads us to re-think who Parks was, what it means to be an activist, and the line between person and symbol. The introduction to the book, entitled “National Honor/Public Mythology: The Passing of Rosa Parks,” lays out the various two-dimensional images of this very three dimensional woman, and from there Theoharis unpacks her story.

And what a story it is.

 

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Danielle McGuire, At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance–A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power

By: Saturday February 19, 2011 1:59 pm

Danielle McGuire, the prizewinning author and assistant professor of history at Wayne State University, has written a beautifully crafted and richly researched testimony of the hidden transcript of the Civil Rights Movement. At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance—a New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power makes a powerful case for re-imagining the Civil Rights Movement in the South through the lens of sexual violence. This path-breaking book spotlights incidents of sexual assault from the early 1940s to the mid 1970s. Rather than remaining secreted, these brutal attacks inspired community protests among African Americans and their white allies. These grassroots struggles of resistance to white supremacy helped initiate the wider Civil Rights Movement that emerged after World War II and which eventually forced the national government to end racial segregation and black disfranchisement. Also, these community-based networks of support provided the infrastructure for the more familiar history of civil rights activities in Montgomery and Selma, Alabama, Jackson, Mississippi, Tallahassee, Florida and other southern cities.

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