Crossing the Line: Women's Interracial Activism in South Carolina during and after World War II

Crossing the Line: Women's Interracial Activism in South Carolina during and after World War II

by Cherisse Jones-Branch


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Although they were accustomed to a segregated society, many women in South Carolina--both black and white, both individually and collectively--worked to change their state's unequal racial status quo. In this volume, Cherisse Jones-Branch explores the early activism of black women in organizations including the NAACP, the South Carolina Progressive Democratic Party, and the South Carolina Federation of Colored Women's Clubs. At the same time, she discusses the involvement of white women in such groups as the YWCA and Church Women United. Their agendas often conflicted and their attempts at interracial activism were often futile, but these black and white women had the same goal: to improve black South Carolinians' access to political and educational institutions.

Examining the tumultuous years during and after World War II, Jones-Branch contends that these women are the unsung heroes of South Carolina's civil rights history. Their efforts to cross the racial divide in South Carolina helped set the groundwork for the broader civil rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813061894
Publisher: University Press of Florida
Publication date: 10/15/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 200
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Cherisse Jones-Branch is associate professor of history at Arkansas State University.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

List of Abbreviations ix

Introduction 1

1 "The Lord Requires Justice of Us": Civil Rights Activism in World War II South Carolina 9

2 "The Negro Only Wanted a Chance to Live": Civil Rights Activism in Postwar South Carolina 41

3 "How Shall I Sing the Lord's Song?": Reactions to Brown v. Board of Education in South Carolina 61

4 "Strength and Faith to Stand Together": Civil Rights Activism and South Carolina YWCAs 88

5 "Become Active in This Service to the Community": The Possibilities and Limitations of Racial Change and Interracial Activism in South Carolina 104

Epilogue 121

Notes 125

Bibliography 163

Index 177

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