Much has been written about the courage and tenacity of the male ministers, activists, and young turks of the Civil Rights movement: Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., Julian Bond, Stokely Carmichael, and others. About the role of women, we know less.
Now, six women who were active in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) have rectified this omission by compiling their own testimonies and those of their colleagues in Hands on the Freedom Plow. Each of the fifty-two narratives acknowledges the centrality of women’s experience in the struggle for human rights in the southern United States in the late twentieth century. Weighing in at almost 600 pages, these compelling, at times harrowing personal stories recast the history of the Civil Rights movement from the perspective of women who lived it day by day.