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A “VERY JIM CROW” EXPERIENCE: BLACK WOMEN’S WORLD-MAKING IN THE WAKE OF RACIALIZED SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN THE U.S. SOUTH, 1894-1947

Abstract
“A ‘Very Jim Crow’ Experience: Black Women’s World-Making in the Wake of Racialized Sexual Violence in the U.S. South – 1894-1947” is an exploration of racialized sexual violence’s presence and impact in Black women and girls lives in Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana during the first half of the 20th century. It argues that Black women and girls’ lives were profoundly shaped by their awareness of sexual violence’s centrality to the white supremacist agenda post-Reconstruction. Extant scholarship on sexual violence during that era explores the links between violence, power, and sexuality, yet mostly focuses on the publicly heralded binary of the Black man rapist and white woman victim deployed in discourse. Each chapter focuses on women who were born across those states from 1894 until 1947, and whose lives, in their own words, bore the wounds of a racialized rape culture extending across generations. Their narratives expand definitions of resistance, while complicating the historical fabric of Jim Crow with a form of violence that triggered 5 myriad consequences on personal, interpersonal, and communal levels. Deeply rooted in Black Studies, this project draws from history, sexual economies, cultural studies, and critical trauma studies to demonstrate that sexual violence, and its specter, were a crucial weapon of the white supremacist apparatus. By uncovering the atmospheric nature of racialized sexual violence, each chapter engages with the multilayered and long-lasting consequences of one of slavery’s most vexing afterlives, and the ways in which Black women and girls navigated this perilous terrain and imagined liberated lives for themselves.
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openaccess
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dissertation
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http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
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2024-09-01T00:00:00-07:00
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