Jeanne Theoharis is the biographer of Civil Rights organizer, Rosa Parks. She will be speaking about her landmark, paradigm-shifting biography, The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks, which won the NAACP Image Award for outstanding biography and the Leticia Woods Brown Award from the Association of Black Women Historians. Theoharis contributes invaluable insight into Parks’s significance to the gendered history of social movements, and Civil Rights specifically, revealing how misconceptions regarding Parks’s politics and legacy shape understandings of the movement writ large. In contesting Parks’s image as a quiet seamstress known only for a single political act, and instead excavating her long and radical political career, Theoharis illuminates the role of ideas about gender in shaping ideas about radicalism, social movement participation, and popular representation.
Cosponsored by Robin Kelley, Gary B. Nash Chair in History, and Center for the Study of Women