A Girl Stands at the Door: The Generation of Young Women who Desegregated America’s School
February 24 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
History Professor, Rutgers University
Rachel Devlin offers the first new history of the struggle for school desegregation in more than four decades, revealing it as a grassroots movement led by girls and young women. In the immediate aftermath of World War II, young African American women and girls, almost exclusively, attempted to register at white schools, met with local white administrators and school boards, testified in court and talked with reporters about why they wanted to attend schools with white students. After Brown vs The Board of Education in Topeka, girls would continue to lead the effort, by volunteering, in vastly disproportionate numbers, to desegregate formerly all-white schools in every region of the country.
Devlin received her PhD from Yale University in 1998. She is the author of two books, Relative Intimacy: The Fathers, Adolescent Daughters and Postwar American Culture (UNC, 2005) and A Girl Stands at the Door (Basic, 2018). She is the recipient of fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Charles Warren Center for the Study of American History, Harvard University and the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute, Harvard University.