Legal-Miller 2010 Jailhouse

Title Information


Speaker: Althea Legal-Miller

Title: The Unmentionable Ugliness of the Jailhouse

Subtitle: Black Girl Protesters, Sexualized Violence, and the Leesburg Stockade Imprisonment of 1963

Conference: 44th Annual Meeting of the Oral History Association (October 27-31, 2010)

Place: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Date: October 30, 2010

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century | U.S. History | Society: Civil Rights Movement; Types: Interracial Rape, Prison Rape



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Additional Information


Speaker: Althea Legal-Miller, Institute of the Americas, University College London

Abstract: »While scholars and writers have appreciated the centrality of mass jail-ins to the civil rights movement, the individualized experiences of jail-going volunteers have been largely omitted from histories and popular memory. In the absence of such narratives, the history of gendered and sexualized jailhouse terrorism – as perpetrated by white male law-enforcers against in carcerated female civil rights workers – cannot be adequately comprehended. This paper reconstructs the 1963 jailing of approximately thirty-six pre- and adolescent black girls from Americus, Georgia, who were arrested for participating in civil rights protests and subsequently jailed for six weeks in a dilapidated stockade in Leesburg, Georgia. Oral histories conducted with six African American women who were jailed in the Leesburg Stockade provide crucial insights on how sexualized violence was employed to curtail activism, and consolidate the racial and gender hierarchies of white supremacy. A close analysis of the Leesburg Stockade jailing also draws attention to the dialectics of struggle and agency, and crucially recovers how girls sought to reaffirm their humanity through bonds of sisterhood and rising militancy. This paper attempts to broaden the study of black girls’ participation in the civil rights movement, tracking the formation of female adolescence on the precarious frontlines of social transformation.« (Source: Oral History Association)

Wikipedia: African-American Civil Rights Movement (1954–68)


Added: January 3, 2015 – Last updated: January 10, 2015