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White Fright

White Fright

The Sexual Panic at the Heart of America's Racist History

A major new history of the fight for racial equality in America, arguing that fear of black sexuality has undergirded white supremacy from the start.

In White Fright, historian Jane Dailey upends our understanding of the long struggle for African American rights. Those fighting against equality were not motivated only by a sense of innate superiority, as is often supposed, but also by an intense fear of black sexuality.

In this urgent investigation, Dailey examines how white anxiety about interracial sex and marriage found expression in some of the most contentious episodes of American history since Reconstruction: in battles over lynching, in the policing of black troops’ behavior overseas during World War II, in the violent outbursts following the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education, and in the tragic story of Emmett Till. The question was finally settled — as a legal matter — with the Court’s definitive 1967 decision in Loving v. Virginia, which declared interracial marriage a “fundamental freedom.” Placing sex at the center of our civil rights history, White Fright offers a bold new take on one of the most confounding threads running through American history.
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Genre: Nonfiction / History / African American

On Sale: November 17th 2020

Price: $30 / $38 (CAD)

Page Count: 368

ISBN-13: 9781541646551

What's Inside

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Reader Reviews

Praise

"This indispensable narrative powerfully illuminates how anxieties about 'miscegenation' and interracial marriage shaped and sustained white supremacy for four centuries. Every American should read this book."—Drew Gilpin Faust, author of This Republic of Suffering
"To understand the true virulence of white supremacy in America, and to grasp just how hard won the fights against it have been, one must reckon with the extent to which racist laws and actions have always, in fact, been fueled by white obsessions about sex. Jane Dailey's latest, a most powerful recovery of this insidious history, must be read by all."—Heather Ann Thompson, Pulitzer Prize-Winning author of Blood in the Water
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