We are proud to release our debut book: Belles of Liberty: Gender, Bennett College, and the Civil Rights Movement in Greensboro, North Carolina by Dr. Linda Beatrice Brown.
The historic Greensboro, N.C. lunch counter Sit-in on February 1, 1960 is one of the most well known incidents in Civil Rights history. This singular event was universally credited to four young men from North Carolina A&T State University. The integration of public accommodations in Greensboro and many cities followed.
Belles of Liberty: Gender, Bennett College and the Civil Rights Movement recalls a more complete story, illuminating what historians overlooked: that the first Sit-in in Greensboro was carefully planned on Bennett College’s campus; and without the women who sat down, marched and were incarcerated in the hundreds from 1960 to 1963, the Sit-in effort and subsequent desegregation of Greensboro and even other communities, might not have succeeded.
Linda Beatrice Brown’s thorough recounting of these disciplined and intrepid women from the historically black liberal arts college reveals the truth that, as Greensboro activist Lewis Brandon said, “We couldn’t have accomplished what we did without those Bennett women.” More than a half century after the Sit-ins began, what the Bennett women accomplished is finally placed within the context of the national Civil Rights Movement, including fifty invaluable first-hand accounts from the women who were there.
Belles of Liberty is a major contribution to our understanding of what actually happened during those turbulent days in Greensboro, when these courageous women were moved to put their lives on the line for justice.
A Quote from Dr. Johnetta B. Cole,
Director, National Museum of African Art at the Smithsonian
“Required reading for anyone who wants to know more about how women have changed the world. Written with the authority of one who was there, Linda Beatrice Brown has expanded our understanding of a turning point in American history in the 1960s. Excellent!”