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.
Cherisse Jones-Branch is associate professor of history at Arkansas State University.
Publisher: University of Florida Press