Anne McCarty Braden is a southern white woman who made a dramatic break with her native, segregationist culture in the years just following World War II to commit her life to the causes of racial and social justice. One of the few white people, particularly from the South, to join the southern black freedom movement in its nascent years in the 1950s, Braden became a role model and inspiration for the thousands of young white people that joined the mass movement a decade later. Braden stands nearly alone among other women of her race, class, region, and generation in her dedication to social change. Born in 1924, Braden came of age after the women's rights and social reform crusades of the early part of the 20th century, and after the young activist women of the 1960s launched the civil rights, student, and women's liberation movements. Yet Braden's life has intersected on some level with most of the great social movements of her lifetime, and represents a central link that connects the southern protest movements of the 1930s and 1940s to the mass civil rights movement of the 1960s.
Unlike many southern reformers of her generation, Braden refused to become an exile from either her region or race, and instead concentrated her activism in the South, especially on awakening the consciences of white southerners. In so doing, she provoked both the admiration and, more often, wrath of her countrymen and women. Fosl not only shares the extraordinary life of Braden with her readers, but also teaches them about the struggles that white southern activists had to face in the segregated, Cold War South.
Table of Contents
Prologue: The Power of Place A Southern Girlhood Intellectual Awakening Alabama Newspaperwoman A Veil Removed: Politicization Marriage and Movement The Wade Case: No Turning Back The 1950s Resistance Movement 'A Voice Crying in the Wilderness': The Early SCEF Years 'Beginning of a New Day': The Mass Civil Rights Movement Epilogue
CATHERINE FOSL teaches women's studies at the University of Louisville, and is the author of Women for all Seasons: The story of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom .