At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance

In this groundbreaking and important book, Danielle McGuire writes about the rape in 1944 of a twenty-four-year-old mother and sharecropper, Recy Taylor, who strolled toward home after an evening of singing and praying at the Rock Hill Holiness Church in Abbeville, Alabama. Seven white men, armed with knives and shotguns, ordered the young woman into their green Chevrolet, raped her, and left her for dead. The president of the local NAACP branch office sent his best investigator and organizer to Abbeville. Her name was Rosa Parks. In taking on this case, Parks launched a movement that ultimately changed the world.

The author gives us the never-before-told history of how the civil rights movement began; how it was in part started in protest against the ritualistic rape of black women by white men who used economic intimidation, sexual violence, and terror to derail the freedom movement; and how those forces persisted unpunished throughout the Jim Crow era when white men assaulted black women to enforce rules of racial and economic hierarchy. Black women’s protests against sexual assault and interracial rape fueled civil rights campaigns throughout the South that began during World War II and went through to the Black Power movement. The Montgomery bus boycott was the baptism, not the birth, of that struggle.

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Praise for At the Dark End of the Street

Eye-Opening

Sacramento Book Review

A winner! Highly Recommended.

CHOICE Reviews, February 2011

This gripping story changes the history books, giving us a revised Rosa Parks and a new civil rights story. You can’t write a general U.S. history without altering crucial sentences because of McGuire’s work. Masterfully narrated, At the Dark End of the Street presents a deep civil rights movement with women at the center, a narrative as poignant, painful and complicated as our own lives.

Timothy B. Tyson, National Book Award Finalist for Blood Done Sign My Name: A True Story

Following the lead of pioneers like Darlene Clark Hine, Danielle McGuire details the all too ignored tactic of rape of black women in the everyday practice of southern white supremacy. Just as important, she plots resistance against this outrage as an integral facet of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. This book is as essential as its history is infuriating.

Nell Irvin Painter, author of The History of White People

Just when we thought there couldn’t possibly be anything left to uncover about the civil rights movement, Danielle McGuire finds a new facet of that endlessly prismatic struggle at the core of our national identity. By reinterpreting black liberation through the lens of organized resistance to white male sexual aggression against African-American women, McGuire ingeniously upends the white race’s ultimate rationale for its violent subjugation of blacks—imputed black male sexual aggression against white women. It is an original premise, and At the Dark End of the Street delivers on it with scholarly authority and narrative polish.

Diane McWhorter, Pulitzer Prize Winner for Carry Me Home: The Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution

At the Dark End of the Street is a story of courage.

Shari Parks, Washington Post

Freedom Rights: New Perspectives on the Civil Rights Movement

In his seminal article “Freedom Then, Freedom Now,” renowned civil rights historian Steven F. Lawson described his vision for the future study of the civil rights movement. Lawson called for a deeper examination of the social, economic, and political factors that influenced the movement’s development and growth. He urged his fellow scholars to connect the “local with the national, the political with the social,” and to investigate the ideological origins of the civil rights movement, its internal dynamics, the role of women, and the significance of gender and sexuality.

In Freedom Rights: New Perspectives on the Civil Rights Movement, editors Danielle L. McGuire and John Dittmer follow Lawson’s example, bringing together the best new scholarship on the modern civil rights movement. The work expands our understanding of the movement by engaging issues of local and national politics, gender and race relations, family, community, and sexuality. The volume addresses cultural, legal, and social developments and also investigates the roots of the movement. Each essay highlights important moments in the history of the struggle, from the impact of the Young Women’s Christian Association on integration to the use of the arts as a form of activism. Freedom Rights not only answers Lawson’s call for a more dynamic, interactive history of the civil rights movement, but it also helps redefine the field.

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Praise for Freedom Rights

The essays are great pieces of scholarship that succeed in expanding the classical notions of the goals of the movement, the principal actors, and their effects on the quotidian lives of African Americans.

Black Diaspora Review

Freedom Rights: New Perspectives on the Civil Rights Movement highlights new scholarship on the Civil Rights Movement, showing the importance of local politics, for instance, and the value of arts activism.

Library Journal

These valuable essays ... exhibit unique and exciting trends within civil rights historiography.

North Carolina Historical Review

Freedom Rights offers readers significant new perspectives on the civil rights movement's cultural and family politics, expands our understanding of its organizational bases, incorporates gender as a vital tool of analysis rather than as contribution history, and clarifies the evolution of strategies for undermining black political power in the years since. Its dynamic arguments establish new standards in the field that will impact scholarly debates for years to come.

Katherine Mellen Charron, Author of Freedom's Teacher: The Life of Septima Clark

Students, teachers, researchers, and a general audience will find this volume a lively, engaging, readable, and informative introduction to what civil rights scholarship looks like today and where it is headed in the future.

Journal of American History

Does a brilliant job of bringing together critical examinations of various agencies, court cases, perspectives, themes, and issues. The sum of all these parts is a comprehensive view of the movement's aftermath.

Cynthia Griggs Fleming, Author of Yes We Did? From King's Dream to Obama's Promise

Detroit 1967: Origins, Impacts, Legacies

In the summer of 1967, Detroit experienced one of the worst racially charged civil disturbances in United States history. Years of frustration generated by entrenched and institutionalized racism boiled over late on a hot July night. In an event that has been called a “riot,” “rebellion,” “uprising,” and “insurrection,” thousands of African Americans took to the street for several days of looting, arson, and gunfire. Law enforcement was overwhelmed, and it wasn’t until battle-tested federal troops arrived that the city returned to some semblance of normalcy. Fifty years later, native Detroiters cite this event as pivotal in the city’s history, yet few completely understand what happened, why it happened, or how it continues to affect the city today. Discussions of the events are often rife with misinformation and myths, and seldom take place across racial lines. It is editor Joel Stone’s intention with Detroit 1967: Origins, Impacts, Legacies to draw memories, facts, and analysis together to create a broader context for these conversations.

Praise for Detroit 1967

This collection of essays provides a very informative racial history of Detroit, ranging from slavery to the Underground Railroad, to the 1943 riot, to deindustrialization. This book is a welcome addition to the race relations literature on Detroit.

Joe T. Darden, professor of urban geography, Michigan State University

Detroit 1967 provides invaluable historical context for the events that exploded on July 23, 1967. It is a thoroughly researched and well-written overview of the history of race relations in the city from its founding in 1701 to today and a ‘must-read’ for all who care about Detroit and its future.

Shirley Stancato, president and CEO, New Detroit Inc.

As a young African American Detroit Police officer in 1967, I witnessed the cruelty of rogue, racist police officers who had very little respect for human life. In fact, I almost lost my life to two racist white police officers who shot at me as I returned to my apartment from a long tour of duty. It's frightening that fifty years later we are still dealing with the same fears.

Isaiah McKinnon, associate professor of education, University of Detroit Mercy. Retired deputy mayor and retired chief of police of the city of Detroit

U.S. Women’s History: Untangling the Threads of Sisterhood

In the 1970s, feminist slogans proclaimed “Sisterhood is powerful,” and women’s historians searched through the historical archives to recover stories of solidarity and sisterhood. However, as feminist scholars have started taking a more intersectional approach—acknowledging that no woman is simply defined by her gender and that affiliations like race, class, and sexual identity are often equally powerful—women’s historians have begun to offer more varied and nuanced narratives.The ten original essays in U.S. Women’s History represent a cross-section of current research in the field. Including work from both emerging and established scholars, this collection employs innovative approaches to study both the causes that have united American women and the conflicts that have divided them. Some essays uncover little-known aspects of women’s history, while others offer a fresh take on familiar events and figures, from Rosa Parks to Take Back the Night marches.

Praise for U.S. Women's History

This is women’s history at its finest. With essays on diverse women, the anthology at once builds upon generations of scholarship as it pushes the field in exciting new directions

Michele Mitchell, Professor of History, New York University

This indispensable volume collects the most current scholarship on gender and U.S. history.  The essays are a testament to the vibrancy of the field of women's history and illustrate the range of methodological and theoretical innovations that continue to drive the field.

Jennifer L. Morgan, author of Laboring Women: Gender and Reproduction in New World Slavery

Other Souths: Diversity and Difference in the U.S. South, Reconstruction to Present

Other Souths collects fifteen innovative essays that place issues of race, class, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality at the center of the narrative of southern history. Using a range of methodologies and approaches, contributing historians provide a fresh perspective to key events and move long-overlooked episodes into prominence.Pippa Holloway edited the volume using a chronological and event-driven framework with which many students and teachers will be familiar. The book covers well-recognized topics in American history: wars, reform efforts, social movements, and political milestones. Cultural topics are considered as well, including the development of consumer capitalism, the history of rock and roll, and the history of sport. The focus and organization of the essays underscore the value of southern history to the larger national narrative.

Praise for Other Souths

This is one of the most creative and provocative southern history anthologies ever published. By bringing together the stories of former slaves, Syrian immigrants, World War I draft resisters, environmentalists, opponents of university football, civil rights activists, and New South conservatives (among others), Other Souths challenges almost every accepted truism about postbellum southern society. This book is appropriate for both scholarly and general audiences and will be an indispensable addition to courses in southern history, culture, and social change. Other Souths will set the standard in this field for years to come.

Paul Ortiz, Author of Emancipation Betrayed: The Hidden History of Black Organizing and White Violence in Florida from Reconstruction to the Bloody Election of 1920

This splendid collection captures the South's complex history from Reconstruction to the present. Incorporating race, class, and gender; sexuality, morality, and popular culture; immigration, environmentalism, and peace politics, Other Souths illuminates traditional issues from new and compelling perspectives.

Nancy A. Hewitt, Author of Southern Discomfort: Women's Activism in Tampa, Florida

A useful teaching text and important intellectual piece. . . . From the public political acts of lowcountry freedwomen to the discovery of the real John Henry, the interrogation of suspected lesbian educators, and the Latinization of the southern landscape, Other Souths uncovers the multiple layers of southern politics, rendering obsolete the divide between public and private or between grassroots politics and more formal electoral politics. In the process, the collection offers the possibilities of comparing big questions across time and place.

Journal of Interdisciplinary History

The volume prompts a rethinking of the place of the modern South in the nation in a way that the individual articles, when they first appeared, did not. . . . As a whole, the collection confirms that the South has been and remains distinctive in its reactions to federal law but also that southerners have found themselves deeply and inextricably bound to national issues of economic development, social change, and demographic shifts.

Journal of Southern History

Other Souths is an insightful exploration of southern history that serves as both an incredibly helpful companion to existing scholarship and an innovative collection of essays that ask us to reconsider the southern past from new and alternative perspectives. By employing emerging areas of study like environmental policy and urban planning and uncovering obscured histories of the southern past, this collection demonstrates the exciting potential of what lies ahead for the study of the U.S. South.

Arkansas Review

Other Recent Published Work

Book Launch Party! Detroit 1967: Origins, Impacts, Legacies

Book Launch Party! Detroit 1967: Origins, Impacts, Legacies

Join us for the party! I am still working on my book about the 1967 Algiers Motel murders in Detroit.  But you can hear a sneak peak of my findings at the launch party for a new book on the 1967 Detroit uprising. This collection of essays investigates the origins and aftermaths of the 1967 Detroit Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)

Rosa Parks and SNCC Freedom Singers: Warriors for freedom and human rights

Rosa Parks and SNCC Freedom Singers: Warriors for freedom and human rights

This was probably one of the highlights of my career (so far). In this panel put together by the Central Ohio Transit Center, I joined a conversation with SNCC Freedom Singers Charles Neblett, Rutha Harris, and Betty Mae Fykes about the “power of one.” The first part of the video features the SNCC Freedom Singers Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)

Interview: Rape of Recy Taylor was a catalyst for Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955

Interview: Rape of Recy Taylor was a catalyst for Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955

Listen to an interview between Danielle McGuire and Marty Moss-Coane on WHYY in Philadelphia (2010) You know one story about Rosa Parks, but not this one: The woman who gained worldwide fame when she “refused to give up her seat” on a Montgomery bus was also a radical activist and a top NAACP investigator into Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)

Podcast: The Rape of Recy Taylor on Rock the Schools with Citizen Stewart

Podcast: The Rape of Recy Taylor on Rock the Schools with Citizen Stewart

Episode 83 I Black History Month – “At The Dark End Of The Street” with Danielle McGuire and Beth Hubbard Author of “At The Dark End Of The Street” Danielle McGuire, and Producer of “The Rape of Recy Taylor” Beth Hubbard, provide a powerful history lesson in honor of Black History month by recognizing the Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)