2015 Spring Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Community... has ended
Wednesday, April 22 • 10:05am - 10:25am
They Also Had Dreams: How Black Women in Post-WWII Durham Embodied the Civil Rights Struggles

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Troubling depictions persist in historical examinations of Black women. More specifically, the civil rights movement narratives as seen on film, in academic textbooks, and through written accounts, paint a picture where women are typically in the background as the wife or family member of more famous male leaders. Stereotypes of Black women as the doting domestic servant pervade popular culture, and historians’ concerns with the activist accomplishments of men overshadow the everyday triumphs for Black women. What’s more, feminist discussions often exclude issues specific to Black women. Fortunately, now historians and other feminist activists are uncovering female voices, showing that Black women resisted, marched, and organized with the best of them. Taking Durham from WW II into the present as a test subject, this paper will examine how a diverse economic climate and a powerful Black community, despite segregationist laws, placed Black women in positions of power to affect change within everyday Black spaces. By examining local institutions and how they shaped the landscape so that Blacks could flourish in a segregated South, Black feminist theory provides evidence that the gendered spaces of Jim Crow produced networks and alliances in the homes, the classroom, and educational organizations that were just as important as the marches where the whole world was watching.


Wednesday April 22, 2015 10:05am - 10:25am
246 Zageir Hall