Rachel Devlin is an associate professor of history at Rutgers University. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Lillian Smith Awards
Authors Virginia Eubanks (Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor), Rachel Devlin (A Girl Stands at the Door: The Generation of Young Women Who Desegregated America's Schools), and Vanessa Siddle Walker (The Lost Education of Horace Tate: Uncovering the Hidden Heroes Who Fought for Justice in Schools) will be honored as recipients of the 2018 Lillian Smith Book Awards. The University of Georgia Libraries sponsors the awards, in partnership with the Southern Regional Council, the Georgia Center for the Book, and Piedmont College, to honor the social justice activist and highly-acclaimed author of Strange Fruit and Killers of the Dream.
Girl Stands at the Door: The Generation of Young Women Who Desegregated America's Schools
The struggle to desegregate America’s schools was a grassroots movement, and young women were its vanguard. In the late 1940s, parents began to file desegregation lawsuits with their daughters, forcing Thurgood Marshall and other civil rights lawyers to take up the issue and bring it to the Supreme Court. After the Brown v. Board of Education ruling, girls far outnumbered boys in volunteering to desegregate formerly all-white schools. In A Girl Stands at the Door, historian Rachel Devlin tells the remarkable stories of these desegregation pioneers. She also explains why black girls were seen, and saw themselves, as responsible for the difficult work of reaching across the color line in public schools. Highlighting the extraordinary bravery of young black women, this bold revisionist account illuminates today’s ongoing struggles for equality.