Subversive Southerner (Paperback)
Anne Braden and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Cold War South
With a Foreword by Angela Y. Davis Winner of the 2003 Oral History Association Book AwardWinner of the 2003 Gustavus Myers Center for Human Rights Outstanding Book Award Anne McCarty Braden (1924-2006) was a courageous southern white woman who in the late 1940s rejected her segregationist and privileged past to become a lifelong crusader against racial discrimination. Arousing the conscience of white southerners to the reality of racial injustice, Braden was branded a communist and seditionist by southern politicians who used McCarthyism to buttress legal and institutional segregation as it came under fire in deferral courts. She became, nevertheless, one of the civil rights movement's staunchest white allies and one of five southern whites commended by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in his 1963 "Letter from Birmingham Jail." Although Braden remained a controversial figure even in the movement, her commitment superseded her radical reputation, and she became a mentor and advisor to students who launched the 1960s sit-ins and to successive generations of peace and justice activists. In this riveting, oral history-based biography, Catherine Fosl also offers a social history of how racism, sexism, and anticommunism overlapped in the twentieth-century south and how ripples from the Cold War divided and limited the southern civil rights movement.