This is a bit of an experiment. I’m currently writing about autobiography, protest and gender in the Civil Rights, and Civil Rights-related, movements of the 1950s-1970s. I am particularly interested in female-authored texts, and so far my main targets have been Elaine Brown, Anne Moody, Angela Davis, Assata Shakur, JoAnn Robinson and Winson Hudson. My plan is that over the next couple of years I want to work through a project to examine the ways that women activists saw, and continue to see, the act of writing about their lives as an act of continued protest. There are many texts that I already know, but many others that I do not. I’m open to considering any variation on ‘life narrative’, at least at the outset, so I’m eager to hear of poetry collections, edited collections, and even fictionalised first person accounts by activists. The best thing to do at the start of these kinds of projects is to make a list, and so I’m going to start the list here. I hope others will add to the list in the comments section.
Winson Hudson, Mississippi Harmony: Memoir of a Freedom Fighter (2002) [with Constance Curry]
Constance Curry (ed.), Hands on the Freedom Plow (2010) [not strictly an autobiography, but a series of autobiographical sketches]
Judith Rollins, All is Never Said: the Narrative of Odette Harper Hines (1995) [an oral history, recounted to Rollins]