Until There Is Justice: The Life of Anna Arnold Hedgeman

Until There Is Justice: The Life of Anna Arnold Hedgeman

by Jennifer Scanlon


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A demanding feminist, devout Christian, and savvy grassroots civil rights organizer, Anna Arnold Hedgeman played a key role in over half a century of social justice initiatives. Like many of her colleagues, including A. Philip Randolph, Betty Friedan, and Martin Luther King, Jr., Hedgeman ought to be a household name, but until now has received only a fraction of the attention she deserves.

In Until There Is Justice, author Jennifer Scanlon presents the first-ever biography of Hedgeman. Through a commitment to faith-based activism, civil rights, and feminism, Hedgeman participated in and led some of the 20th century's most important developments, including advances in education, public health, politics, and workplace justice. Simultaneously a dignified woman and scrappy freedom fighter, Hedgeman's life upends conventional understandings of many aspects of the civil rights and feminist movements. She worked as a teacher, lobbyist, politician, social worker, and activist, often crafting and implementing policy behind the scenes. Although she repeatedly found herself a woman among men, a black American among whites, and a secular Christian among clergy, she maintained her conflicting identities and worked alongside others to forge a common humanity.

From helping black and Puerto Rican Americans achieve critical civil service employment in New York City during the Great Depression to orchestrating white religious Americans' participation in the 1963 March on Washington, Hedgeman's contributions transcend gender, racial, and religious boundaries. Engaging and profoundly inspiring, Scanlon's biography paints a compelling portrait of one of the most remarkable yet understudied civil rights leaders of our time. Until There Is Justice is a must-read for anyone with a passion for history, biography, and civil rights.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780190050412
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 02/01/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 9.10(w) x 6.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Jennifer Scanlon is William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies at Bowdoin College. She is the author of Bad Girls Go Everywhere: The Life of Helen Gurley Brown.

Table of Contents

Prologue: A Purposeful Life
1. A Midwestern Childhood
2. Education: The First Measure of Independence
3. Teaching in the Segregated South
4. Heading North to Spread the Word: The YWCA Years
5. Harlem and Brooklyn in the Great Depression
6. World War II: If Ever There Were a Time for Racial Justice
7. Fighting for Fair Employment, Fighting for Truman
8. "New World Citizen": Developing a National Portfolio, an International Consciousness, and an FBI File
9. Running for Political Office, Securing a Spot in City Hall
10. " A Burr in the Saddle": Anna Arnold Hedgeman, White Protestants, and the March on Washington
11. The 'Double Handicap' of Sex and Race: The March on Washington
12. Religious Activism for Racial Justice: The Commission on Religion and Race
13. Black Power, White Power, Woman Power, Christian Power
14. Refusing Retirement: The Hedgeman Consultant Service
Epilogue: Fighting for Heaven, Right Here on Earth: The Legacies

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