Subversive Southerner: Anne Braden and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Cold War South - by Catherine Fosl - is an excellent book which I would highly recommend reading! It is difficult for me to separate the unbelievably incredible person that Anne Braden was from the excellent job that the author did in researching and writing this book.
'White people who really believe in a united human race should not be frightened when SNCC other groups talk about "black power." Our society has lived by white power. Unless black people create their own power, there can never be a meeting ground...by forcing (white people) out of black communitie (and into organizing whites,SNCC) may be providing this generation with the last chance white people will ever have to overcome the racism and white supremacy by which western man has come close to destroying this planet. '
pages 301-302 - quoting Anne Braden in 1966
But when we talked about integration in the '40s, '50s, even early '60s, it was in the context of building a whole new society. That's what the early students meant by the "beloved community" too - their vision was vague in its outlines, but it was never the idea that blacks are simply going to be integrated into this society. But over the years integration has come to mean that African Americans will be brought into this society that whites will still run. That's part of black disillusionment with school integration: what they integrated into was so white dominated they want no part of it. Although I was able to articulate this more clearly later, I felt at the time that black movement was the thrust that was going to change things. That's why we never saw a contradiction between integration and black power.
page 339 - Anne Braden answering questions in 2002 from the author after reading the draft of this biography
Anne Braden came out of a conservative, segregation believing family in the South and became one of very few radical change advocates seeking equality for Black People from the mid-1940's until her death in 2006 (four years after the publication of this book).
She saw intersectionality clearly, particularly related to class, but also as an early second wave feminist who was an inspiration for many mostly younger women beginning in the 1960's.
It is easy, I think, to see a strong parallel between the radical efforts of Anne Braden, with the strong counter-weight of "communism" as the boogie word - force fighting bitterly trying to crush her husband Carl (prior to his death in 1975), allies of hers, and herself - as parallel - to the forces of reaction - lead by 45 and the Republican Cowards in the public view today in mid-2020.
Anne Braden, along with her good friend Ella Baker, are two sides of a coin in being strong, loving, caring individuals who fought for an egalitarian U.S. against overwhelming reactionary forces - one white and the other Black.
Anne Braden was an amazing woman fighting racism, classism and sexism for her adult life, while parenting three children (one of whom tragically died in 1961), being a warm, humanistic person. She never left her native South, fighting segregation-racism and mentoring and helping many, many - being an ally of people like Angela Davis and Fred Shuttlesworth and strongly inspiring SNCC in its early days.
This is a wonderful book to read!
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