Mae Mallory, the Monroe Defense Committee, and World Revolutions
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Mae Mallory, the Monroe Defense Committee, and World Revolutions

African American Women Radical Activists

Title Details

Pages: 426

Illustrations: 13 b&w

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in

Formats

Paperback

Pub Date: 05/01/2024

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6642-5

List Price: $34.95

eBook

Pub Date: 04/01/2024

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6644-9

List Price: $34.95

eBook

Pub Date: 04/01/2024

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6643-2

List Price: $34.95

Hardcover

Pub Date: 05/01/2024

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6641-8

List Price: $114.95

Subsidies and Partnerships

Published with the generous support of Virginia Tech Publishing, the Faculty Subvention Fund, and the Religion and Culture Department

Mae Mallory, the Monroe Defense Committee, and World Revolutions

African American Women Radical Activists

A personal account of working-class African American women and their radical activism promoting human rights

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  • Description
  • Reviews

This book explores the significant contributions of African American women radical activists from 1955 to 1995. It examines the 1961 case of African American working-class self-defense advocate Mae Mallory, who traveled from New York to Monroe, North Carolina, to provide support and weapons to the Negroes with Guns Movement. Accused of kidnapping a Ku Klux Klan couple, she spent thirteen months in a Cleveland jail, facing extradition. African American women radical activists Ethel Azalea Johnson of Negroes with Guns, Audrey Proctor Seniors of the banned New Orleans NAACP, the Trotskyist Workers World Party, Ruthie Stone, and Clarence Henry Seniors of Workers World founded the Monroe Defense Committee to support Mallory. Mae’s daughter, Pat, aged sixteen also participated, and they all bonded as family. When the case ended, they joined the Tanzanian, Grenadian, and Nicaraguan World Revolutions. Using her unique vantage point as Audrey Proctor Seniors’s daughter, Paula Marie Seniors blends personal accounts with theoretical frameworks of organic intellectual, community feminism, and several other theoretical frameworks in analyzing African American radical women’s activism in this era.

Essential biographical and character narratives are combined with an analysis of the social and political movements of the era and their historical significance. Seniors examines the link between Mallory, Johnson, and Proctor Seniors’s radical activism and their connections to national and international leftist human rights movements and organizations. She asks the underlying question: Why did these women choose radical activism and align themselves with revolutionary governments, linking Black human rights to world revolutions?

Seniors’s historical and personal account of the era aims to recover Black women radical activists’ place in history. Her innovative research and compelling storytelling broaden our knowledge of these activists and their political movements.

This innovative, thoroughly researched, and captivating book offers a stunning portrait of the personal and political lives of a dynamic group of radical Black women activists. Paula Marie Seniors powerfully unveils how these women agitated for Black liberation on local, national, and international levels.

—Keisha N. Blain, author of Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer’s Enduring Message to America

The Black freedom struggle in Monroe, North Carolina, was a critical beachhead for the civil rights and Black Power movements. Paula Seniors’ Mae Mallory, the Monroe Defense Committee, and World Revolutions provides a unique look into the Monroe freedom movement and its role in building revolutionary politics, including armed self-defense and internationalism in the Black liberation struggle. Seniors' work contributes to the unearthing and illuminating of the role of unsung revolutionary Black female freedom fighters Mae Mallory, Ethel Azalea Johnson, and the author’s mother, Audrey Proctor Seniors, and centers their role in the building of the Black radical tradition. Seniors' reconstruction of her family and their comrades' story makes an important contribution to our understanding of the fight for Black freedom, left politics, and global solidarity from the 1950s through the 1980s.

—Akinyele Umoja, author of We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement

Deeply researched, cinematically told, and urgently needed, Mae Mallory, the Monroe Defense Committee, and World Revolutions’ excavation of radical black women as ideologues, global change agents, and as mothers and daughters leads the way to a fuller examination of Black radical women’s impact on history.

—Robyn Spencer, author of The Revolution Has Come: Black Power, Gender, and the Black Panther Party in Oakland

About the Author/Editor

PAULA MARIE SENIORS is an associate professor of ethnic studies at Virginia Tech University.