At the Dark End of the Street: Sexual Violence and the Civil Rights Movement
In 1944, in Abbeville, Alabama, a black woman named Recy Taylor walked home from a church revival. A car full of white men kidnapped her off the street, drove her to the woods and gang raped her at gunpoint. When they finished, they dropped her off in the middle of town and told her they would kill her if she told anyone what happened. But that night, she told her husband, father and the local sheriff about the assault. A few days later the Montgomery NAACP called to say they were sending their best investigator.
It was Rosa Parks.
Rosa Parks carried Taylor’s story back to Montgomery where she and the city’s most militant activists organized the Committee for Equal Justice for Mrs. Recy Taylor, and launched what the Chicago Defender called the strongest campaign for equal justice in a decade. Eleven years later this group of homegrown activists would become better known as the Montgomery Improvement Association, vaunting it’s president, Martin Luther King Jr. to international prominence and launching a movement that would help change the world. But when the coalition first took root, King was still in High School.
The 1955 Montgomery bus boycott, often heralded as the opening scene of the civil rights movement, was in many ways, one of the last acts of a decades-long struggle to protect black women, like Taylor, from sexualized violence and rape. Indeed, major civil rights campaigns in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and North Carolina had roots in organized resistance to sexual violence.
At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance-A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power
Danielle L. McGuire
This book is gr8
This book is fantastic and I wish more people knew about it.
The one problem I had with it, that I wish I’d know about going in, is that in transcribing interviews, the (white) author only ever spells phonetically the words of black interviewees. It’s been a couple years since I read this book, but if I remember correctly, she has a range of interview subjects. Many of them are southern, and if she was going to convey a regional accent through spelling, I would have been less jarred if she’d transcribed all her subjects in the same manner. Doing that to only the black women she interviewed felt othering.
Otherwise, it’s a really necessary really important book. I’m really glad I read it.
This racist former North Carolina minister who pleaded guilty in 2013 to sexually molesting underage Haitian girls received a 25-year sentence from a federal judge on Friday.
Larry Michael Bollinger, 68, pleaded with a federal court judge for over an hour to prevent him receiving a maximum 120-year sentence, and admitted that he was a sex addict who for years had been obsessed with pornography, and had solicited sex from prostitutes, as well as frequented adult bookstores.
Have You Heard The Story of LaVena Johnson?
LaVena Johnson was a soldier who enlisted in the Army in 2003. She was the first woman from Missouri to die in Iraq. What happened to this young black woman was appalling. She was found in her tent with a gunshot wound to the head, a broken nose, black eye, loose teeth, acid burns on her genitals, and a trail of blood leading away from her tent. What’s even more appalling is the Department of Defense has officially ruled her death a suicide.
SIGNAL BOOST THE FUCK OUT OF THIS PLEASE!!
IF YOU SEE THIS MAN, REPORT IT TO THE POLICE.
HIS NAME IS STEPHEN EUGENE BECK AND HE IS WANTED FOR DOZENS OF COUNTS OF CHILD RAPE AND MOLESTATION. HE IS WANTED IN TENNESSEE BUT POLICE BELIEVE HE HAS FLED TO KENTUCKY. PLEASE CALL THE LOCAL POLICE OR 1-859-253-2020 IF YOU SPOT HIM. ALSO, PLEASE KEEP YOUR CHILDREN SAFE. THIS MAN NEEDS TO BE PUT IN JAIL FOR WHAT HE’S DONE.
Dione Payne, 16, a black male Victim of Racism, died this past Sunday on December 1, 2013, after having been beaten, robbed, and sexually assaulted by two “white” men. Enforcement officials report that the Racist Suspects, 36-year-old Michael Geldrich and 39-year-old Michael Watson, robbed, brutally beat and raped Payne before dropping the victim off at a nearby hospital. They are being charged with aggravated murder and aggravated robbery. The sexual assault charge is conspicuously missing.
This past Monday his attempted family held a vigil. Members of his attempted family say they were unsure how the teen became acquainted with his attackers. According to enforcement officials, Payne was staying with Geldrich . This suggests that Payne trusted Geldrich at least to a degree. This is very disturbing considering the deceptive, violent and anti-black nature of the system of Racism (White Supremacy) in which we all live.
Racist Suspects have wasted no time putting this young Victim of Racism on trial posthumously. Racist Suspects at Dayton Daily News report on this story with the headline, “Dayton teen beaten to death had troubled past”. They have repeatedly emphasized the claim by other Racist Suspects that he was selling drugs in the area before being attacked and sexually assaulted. However, this article fails to mention that the perpetrators themselves had so-called troubled pasts with extensive criminal histories such as child endangering, aggravated burglary, and drug trafficking. Unlike Payne, these men were far past their teen years and have had ample time to get their lives together. Considering their age, their status as adults should be emphasized rather than the alleged activities of a severely victimized 16-year-old.
In response to a statement made by a relative of Payne, a suspected racist enforcement official, who was quoted in the article, also emphasized that this was not a racially motivated crime, which is to be expected.
Any person who classifies him/herself as “white” and who is capable of practicing Racism (White Supremacy), most likely does. It is important for Victims of Racism to learn this lesson before it is too late.
Rest in Peace Dione Payne.
Trigger warning for sex tourism
PARADISE: LOVE - TRAILER
On the beaches of Kenya, they’re known as “Sugar Mamas:” European women who seek out African boys, selling love to earn a living. Teresa, a 50-year-old Austrian and mother of a daughter entering puberty, travels to this vacation paradise. She goes from one Beach Boy to the next, from one disappointment to the next, and finally she must recognize: on the beaches of Kenya, love is a business.
So are we supposed to feel bad for the white lady or nah?
why does the media keep tryina make me feel sorry for rich, amoral white ladies? I can’t do it…
I see these women a lot when I go to Mombasa. They’re literally just sex tourists and I side eye this film for trying to humanise them
I AM SO ANNOYED right now. I am so annoyed right now.
this is disgusting
also a good reminder that it isn’t only white men who engage in sex tourism
WHITE WOMEN ARE AND ALWAYS HAVE BEEN COMPLICIT IN WHITE SUPREMACY
This stuff is very rampant all over Africa and the Caribbean. In Jamaica, they call it “rent a rasta” or a “rent a dread”. Divorced white women are blowing their alimony payments on “rent a rasta” in Jamaica. See a trailer for a documentary of it here.
In Nigeria, there are small pockets of women from the UK who have “rent boys” in cities like Port Harcourt, Uyo and Calabar. They prefer those places because they are very hospitable to foreigners, and it isn’t as congested or hectic like Lagos for instance. They can come and go as they please, and the likelihood of them getting scammed is much lower. They have boys the posted up in flats, and they visit them several times a year.
Make no mistake about it though, these women are predators. Their rent boys are usually young, around 18 and 19. You will rarely see them with men over 25. The younger ones are easier and cheaper to maintain, and they have high sex drives, which is why they are there. It’s a commodification of a taboo; sex with a black person. They get to live out their wild fantasies, and then they go home to their mundane, boring lives.
I’m always weary of white people in Africa in general. Be it ex-pats, vacationers, NGOs, UN peacekeepers, church groups or anyone else. There always seem to be ulterior motives with them, no matter how benevolent they appear on the surface. They will find a way to impose their sexual will and desires over people who are less fortunate. In the DRC, UN “peacekeepers” were violating young girls. Child prostitution was rampant, and many were leaving girls pregnant. See here. This type of thing is widespread.
When white folks go to some tropical getaway where only black and brown folks are, the impetus for a lot of those trips are cheap thrills and cheap sex. They didn’t fly half way around the world just to lie down on a beach. Especially if it’s a solo trip. They could have done that in locales much closer to home. 50 year old white men don’t go on solo trips to Kenya, the Dominican Republic or Thailand to take in the culture and to see the beach. They go for cheap sex, often with minors. White women are following their lead.
Anyway, what irks me about documentaries that focus on white women who partake in sex tourism is that they always try to humanize them, or make them out to be helpless women looking for love. No, these women are predators who are exploiting young men for sex. These dudes are poor. These white women aren’t going after the movers and shakers in society, or people with money in the countries they visit. They know what they’re doing and their targets are the poor and vulnerable. They wave a few bucks in their face so they can have their way with their bodies. This is what it is.
Day 19 of White History Month: Medical Racism
The United States (along with other countries in the Western world) has a history of medical racism. The general population is unaware of the history of medical racism, and white health professionals are as well. John M. Hoberman of UT-Austin says that medical schools do not teach students about the history of medical racism, nor do they give them proper diversity training. Many Americans of color have grown to distrust medical professionals, and many white Americans attribute this to paranoia rather than their knowledge of historical and contemporary medical mistreatment.
Medical racism has often benefitted white Americans disproportionately while simultaneously harming Americans of color, as well as people of color outside of the United States. White Americans benefit from medical advances, while individual people of color were harmed, and in some cases, large groups of people of color have been harmed. From trying to “better” the race, to making scientific advances, white people have used and disregarded the rights people of color for their own benefit. Medical racism shows the lack of value ascribed to the bodies and lives of people of color.
The eugenics movement in the United States became very popular and manifested itself in many different ways. Anti-miscegenation laws, birth control, sterilization, forced abortions, forced pregnancies (of white women), and the promotion of higher birth rates for neurotypical white women. Eugenics policies were first instituted in the United States. Laws that advocated the sterilization of those with mental illnesses were in effect in the early 1900s, and soon spread to other countries.
Eugenics movements advocated for the eradication of those with mental illness, those who were homosexual, “promiscuous”, and most of all, those who were outside of the “Nordic” or “Aryan” race. Eugenics was advocated for by many famous white Westerners, including world leaders such as Winston Churchill, Theodore Roosevelt, and Calvin Coolidge.
While eugenics was highly unpopular after the Holocaust, the eugenics tradition of the United States actually provided the background for Nazi Medicine. While most people are aware to some extent what the horrors of Nazi medicine entailed, few people are aware of the American eugenics tradition that inspired it. Eugenics societies promoted “fit families” and “better babies” through awards at contests, but they also promoted harmful legislation barring immigrants and sterilizing “undesirable” people.
Controlling Reproductive Rights of Women of Color
Due to the eugenics movement, thousands of Black women were sterilized. In North Carolina, 7600 people were sterilized between 1929 and 1974, 85% of them women and girls, and a disproportionate number of them people of color (39% in the 1940s, 60% in the 1960s while making up only 25% of the population). The program that allowed for their sterilization was not eliminated fully until 2003. Black women were also sterilized without their consent in other states.
Puerto Rican Women
The United States has held Puerto Rico as a territory since 1898. As a solution to Puerto Rican economic problems, the US government felt that reducing the population of the Puerto Rican government would help. The US sterilized over one-third of Puerto Rican women, many uneducated and working class, between the 1930s and 1970s. Most of these women did not understand the procedure and did not know that it would render them sterile.
Additionally, the US used Puerto Rican women to test out birth control pills in the 1950s. These women were not informed that the pills were experimental - only that they would prevent pregnancy. They were not informed of the possible side effects ranging from nausea to possible death - three women died during the birth control pill trials. Women who reported side effects had their concerns dismissed by researchers.
Native American Women
Native American women who used the Indian Health Services were subject to numerous violations of their rights, particularly their reproductive rights. Some women who underwent procedures such as appendectomies would also have hysterectomies performed on them without their consent. At least 25 percent (and as high as 50 percent) of Native American women of reproductive age who used Indian Health Services were sterilized without their consent or after coercion. Largely white male doctors would use Native American women as “practice” for performing gynecological procedures on white women.
Tuskegee Experiment and Guatemala STD Experiment
In 1932, the Tuskegee Institute worked with the United States government to perform a study on a group of Black men with syphillis. The men were recruited to the study with promises of free meals, transportation to the clinic, medical exams and even treatment for minor medical concerns. The study lasted 40 years and involved the participation of over 600 Black men. This sounded like a good arrangement in theory, but researchers did not hold up their end of the bargain. By 1947, penicillin was widely used as treatment for syphillis. The researchers neglected to inform the men involved in the study in addition to refusing to treat the men.
As a result of the Tuskegee Experiment, nearly a hundred men died, and hundreds of partners and children were infected with the disease as well. Not only was this a breach of research ethics, as the participants did not give informed consent and were not treated for their ailment. The men and their families won a $9 million class action lawsuit in 1973, but this of course was not enough to make up for the damage that was done.
Similarly, the same researcher who uncovered the Tuskegee Syphillis experiment, Susan Reverby, discovered that a similar situation occured in Guatemala. The US Public Health Service and Pan American Sanitary Bureau worked with the Guatemalan government to do research on 1300 Guatemalans that involved intentionally exposing them to STDs.
The experiment involved many who are considered disposable in society - sex workers, mental patients, prisoners, and soldiers. Only 700 of these people were treated, and during the study 83 people died. Some of the most disturbing incidents during the study involved injecting epilepsy patients in the back of the head with syphillis, as well as the infection of a terminal illness patient with gonnorhea (she died six months later). The Guatemalans in the study also did not give informed consent.
Henrietta Lacks (1920 - 1951) was a Black woman who went to Johns Hopkins Hospital to be examined for serious medical concerns. After a biopsy was performed, she was diagnosed with and subsequently treated for cancer. While she was being treated, healthy and cancerous cells were removed from her cervix without her consent. She died in 1951, but the cells stolen from her body continued to be used. Though she died poor and was buried without a gravestone, her cells were used for many medical tests. From routine tests for human sensitivity to substances to the development of the Polio vaccine, her cells were used for medical advances. Her family only learned about the removal of her cells in the 1970s, and she is largely unknown despite the contributions to science she had made.
Current medical racism
Distrust of medical health professionals, along with racist attitudes probably contribute to medical health disparities. Racially linked anxiety disorders have been linked to racism at the hands of white people. A significant number of Black women report racism and sexism contributing to their stress and to stress-linked overeating.
Stressful life circumstances are reasons for hypertension and many mental health ailments. Working and middle class Black women who report multiple forms of discrimination are more likely to have high blood pressure than those who report fewer incidents. Black Americans who are more confrontational about racism are less likely to have elevated blood pressure than those who stay silent, which can be attributed to the effects of suppressed hostility.
Today, doctors still exhibit subconscious racist attitudes. A study in the American Journal of Public Health (March 2012) showed that a full two-thirds of the doctors in the sample were racially biased. White and Asian health professionals showed anti-Black bias, but Black health professionals showed no bias.
Doctors are more likely to speak more slowly to Black patients, extend their visits, and to lecture and talk down to them. This shows that the doctors are paternalistic and don’t care about respecting their patients or asking for their input
Additionally, white doctors are prone to giving worse care to patients of color, regardless of their income. People of color are less likely to get the diagnoses and treatment that they need, for everything ranging from heart disease medication, HIV treatment, and dialysis. Black women are the least likely to receive the pain medication that they need. Mental health professionals are less likely to diagnose people of color with an appropriate diagnosis because of their race.
The Afro is not a trend. It is not a fad to be followed or a fashion statement to be critiqued. It is a very natural way for Black people (really, anyone with coarse or curly locks that grow upward and outward) to wear their hair, and it has been since we’ve had hair. But an uptick in articles analyzing the Afro suggest otherwise: that the hairstyle is an enthralling thing to behold, to be explained away, cut up into small, digestible pieces for mainstream consumption. These stories don’t seek to elevate or normalize Black beauty. Rather, they serve as simplistic, user-friendly accounts of blackness through white lenses.