“The Maid and Mr. Charlie: Black Women and Sexual Violence in the Jim Crow South”
Danielle McGuire, Wayne State University
Professor McGuire will be discussing her recent work on racialized sexual violence, resistance, and how we write about it. McGuire is the author of At the Dark End of the Street–a groundbreaking and important book about the 1944 rape of a twenty-four-year-old mother and sharecropper, Recy Taylor, in Abbeville, Alabama. The president of the local NAACP branch oce 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. McGuire’s work investigates 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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