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Radicalism at the CrossroadsAfrican American Women Activists in the Cold War$
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Dayo F. Gore

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814732366

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814732366.001.0001

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Reframing Civil Rights Activism during the Cold War

Reframing Civil Rights Activism during the Cold War

The Rosa Lee Ingram Case, 1948–1959

(p.74) 3 Reframing Civil Rights Activism during the Cold War
Radicalism at the Crossroads

Dayo F. Gore

NYU Press

This chapter examines the political strategies and organizing that shaped black women radicals' activism in the celebrated fight to free Rosa Lee Ingram, a black woman convicted, along with two of her sons, of murdering a white man in rural Georgia. It highlights black women's leadership in organizing to win the Ingrams' freedom and in publicly asserting black women's right to self-defense and control over their bodies. These women situated their activism within the postwar context, as well as within black women's long history of sexualized violence. Working through the Civil Rights Congress, the Women's Committee for Equal Justice, and the all-black women's organization Sojourners for Truth and Justice, Yvonne Gregory, Beulah Richardson, and other women crafted a political analysis that sought to broaden the scope of civil rights activism. Through such efforts, these women fought to assert black women's leadership and vision in shaping postwar civil rights politics.

Keywords:   black women radicals, radical politics, political activism, Rosa Lee Ingram, self-defense, Civil Rights Congress, Women's Committee for Equal Justice, Sojourners for Truth and Justice, civil rights politics

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