When mapping the struggle for Black freedom and racial justice, historians have often emphasized the events and organizational efforts that occurred in urban areas, largely led by men. However, in order to take Black Power politics seriously in a more comprehensive fashion, we need to understand how they also emerged from and developed in rural American communities, where the voices and leadership of women were extremely influential.
In this podcast episode, Katherine Mellen Charron, associate professor of history at North Carolina State University, discusses her research into the legacies of local, community-based, rural Black women’s activism in North Carolina. By thinking about how Black Power politics, economics, and culture were affirmed and shaped by women outside of urban centers, we are better able to honor less historically visible forms of political engagement and innovation.
Photograph by Bernard Fisher, HMdb.org