Life Stories, Secret History

Two books that commemorate Black heroines of the Civil Rights Movement. 

In 1963 Rosa Parks was one of six Negro Women Fighters for Freedom singled out at the March on Washington. In The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks (Beacon Press, $27.95), scholar Jeanne Theoharis pays tribute to Parks on the one hundredth anniversary of her birth on February 4. Quiet as it's kept, Parks stood up against injustice until her last breath in October 2005. While Parks was pushed into the spotlight at home, Eslanda Cardozo Goode Robeson was in Europe speaking against totalitarianism and oppression. In Eslanda: The Large and Unconventional Life of Mrs. Paul Robeson (Yale University Press, $35), activist Barbara Ransby lifts Robeson from her famous husband's shadow and shines a light on "Essie's" groundbreaking work as a journalist, anthropologist and outspoken anticolonial race woman.

Read More