Mothers of Massive Resistance
White Women and the Politics of White Supremacy
Oxford University Press 2017
New Books in African American StudiesNew Books in American StudiesNew Books in Gender StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Political ScienceNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network January 1, 2018 Heath Brown
Much attention has been drawn to the role of white women in the recent Alabama senate election and the earlier election of Donald J. Trump as president. Today’s racial and gender politics have long historic roots, according to Elizabeth McRae, the author of Mothers of Massive Resistance: White Women and the Politics of White Supremacy (Oxford University Press, 2018). Gillespie McRae is an associate professor of history and director of the graduate social science education programs at Western Carolina University.
Examining racial segregation from 1920s to the 1970s, Mothers of Massive Resistance explores the local workers who promoted the system of racial segregation and Jim Crow. In rural communities and cities, white women performed various duties that upheld segregation and racism: rejecting marriage certificates, deciding on the racial identity of neighbors, canvassing communities for votes, and lobbying elected officials. And the work of white women was not restricted to the South. McRae also shows how this politics of Massive Resistance to de-segregation and civil rights plays out in cities in the North.