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Freedom's Daughters: The Unsung Heroines of the Civil Rights Movement from…
by Lynne Olson
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0684850133, Paperback)Although men like Martin Luther King Jr. and Stokely Carmichael grabbed the headlines, women provided not just the backbone but frequently the leadership of the civil rights movement, this punchy popular history reminds us. And not just during the 1950s and '60s: Ida Mae Wells spearheaded an international anti-lynching campaign in 1892, Mary White Ovington helped launch the NAACP in 1909, and Pauli Murray led the first sit-in in 1944. The civil rights and feminist movements have been intertwined since the 19th century, notes Lynne Olson, who doesn't flinch from describing the ways in which sex has been used as a weapon to define and divide black and white women. Olson, coauthor of The Murrow Boys, again displays a marvelous knack for knitting sharp individual portraits into a cohesive group biography within a lively, accessible narrative. She makes it clear that women like Rosa Parks, Diane Nash, and Ida Mae Holland were not mere foot soldiers for male generals. Parks's record of civil rights work dated to the 1940s, long before she sparked the Montgomery bus boycott. The 22-year-old Nash revitalized the Freedom Rides after male colleagues nearly abandoned them in the wake of white violence. Holland transformed herself from an 18-year-old prostitute into a determined activist inspired by the older women she called "mamas" who could be seen on the front lines of every march, singing and testifying. Ella Baker, Jo Ann Robinson, Septima Clark, and Fannie Lou Hamer are among the other neglected figures who finally get their due in Olson's moving tribute. --Wendy Smith
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:45 -0400)
Provides portraits and cameos of over sixty women who were influential in the Civil Rights Movement, and argues that the political activity of women has been the driving force in major reform movements throughout history. Women profiled include Pauli Murray, Ida B. Wells, Lilian Smith, Mary McLeod Bethune, Eleanor Roosevelt, Mary Church Terrell, Rosa Parks, Ella Baker, Casey Hayden, Diane Nash, Jessie Divens, Septima Clark, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Bertha Gober, Penny Patch, Laura McGhee, Gloria Richardson, Heather Tobis, Fannie Lou Hamer, Eleanor Holmes Norton, and Ruby Doris Smith Robinson.