This is entirely new to me.
Today marks 101 years since civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks was born. By now, many people have learned to look beyond the version of Parks we learned about in elementary school–a brave but mild-mannered woman who just wouldn’t take it anymore. As organizers know, these movements don’t just spring up spontaneously but are the product of planning, strategizing and hard work.
But I imagine few people know the deeper story about Rosa Parks’ early organizing against rape and exploitation of black women, which sparks me to once again recommend Danielle McGuire’s excellent book At the Dark End of the Street:
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…
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