Books for changing the world

No Middle Ground: Southern White Women and the Fight Against Racism

From the early Abolitionist struggle to the Black Lives Matter movement of today, white people have faced a critical choice: to stand in solidarity with those resisting slavery, Jim Crow, and racism or consent to the brutal realities of white supremacy. As the veteran Civil Rights organizer Anne Braden noted in 1958, "No white person, then as now, can be neutral on this question . . . There was no middle ground."

Join author-activists Dr. Gwendolyn Midlo Hall and Dr. Keri Leigh Merritt for an insightful conversation about the history and traditions of southern whites who defied the color line to help build radical, transformative movements against racism.



Gwendolyn Midlo Hall is the award-winning author of many articles and multiple books, including Africans in Colonial Louisiana: The Development of Afro-Creole Culture in the Eighteenth Century and Slavery and African Ethnicities in the Americas: Recovering the Links, as well as the editor of A Black Communist in the Freedom Struggle: The Life of Harry Haywood. Midlo Hall is Professor Emerita of Latin American and Caribbean History at Rutgers University. She is a lifelong political activist and spent 15 years researching and creating the Louisiana Slave Database, now accessible as part of Slave Biographies: Atlantic Database Network. She was the wife and collaborator of Communist organizer and writer Harry Haywood. Her new book, Haunted by Slavery: A Memoir of a Southern White Woman in the Freedom Struggle, is forthcoming from Haymarket Books in March 2021.

Keri Leigh Merritt is the author of Masterless Men: Poor Whites and Slavery in the Antebellum South and co-editor of Reconsidering Southern Labor History: Race, Class, and Power.