At The Dark End Of The Street Analysis

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This is the case that is made by Danielle McGuire in At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women’s, Rape, and Resistance-A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power. In this text, the author expands the discussion of the challenges that African American women contended with prior to and during the civil rights movement during the mid-twentieth century. The author argues that the rape and sexual violence that was prevalent during this era and its impact on Black women received minimal attention. The organization and activism that was fueled by women was similarly minimized (McGuire, 2010. Historians have documented how men have been affected by the topic of rape and violence in relation to white society…show more content…
In support of this argument, the author presents E.D. Nixon, one of the few leaders initially involved in the Montgomery bus boycott. Nixon admonished that Black men must decide if they were “going to be fearless men” (Estes, 2005, p. 7). This challenge to the masculinity of African American men may have proved effective in enlisting male participation; permitting Black men to envision themselves in the role of protector (Estes, 2005). Early scholarship of the civil rights movement would portray male participants as orchestrators of collective action. As Rosa Parks effectually represented the virtue of Black women, historians would present similar figures to represent Black males in order the image of Black men as leaders and producers of social change (Estes, 2005). However, the events that propelled the notoriety of the social movements during the Jim Crow era involved numerous women who both led and organized events. Charles Payne in I’ve Got the Light of Freedom, emphasizes that the development of male and female leadership was based on an organizing tradition involving community members (Payne, 2007). The civil rights movement represented an era of conflict for Black men as some sought to distinguish themselves as protectors and defy the “demonization of Black masculinity” (Estes, 2005, p.66). Mr. Estes argues that it was defense of the overt racism men experienced which led them to use “masculinist strategies of racial uplift” to gain political and social power (Estes, 2005, p. 7). The author uses a variety of other works to support this analysis of dynamics of race, masculinity and power. However, in referencing newspaper articles, the author admits that these tactics effectively shifted the conversation of the female involvement in civil rights activities and addresses how the bias
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