Girls on the Front Line: Gender and the Battle to Desegregate the Public Schools in the United States, 1945-1968


ACLS Fellowship Program




“Girls on the Front Line” examines the vastly disproportionate number of girls and young women who were desegregation plaintiffs in the late nineteen forties and early fifties, and then “firsts” at previously all-white schools after Brown v. Board of Education. At stake is a new understanding of the distinctive role of girls and young women in bringing school desegregation about—both legally and on the ground—in individual locales, an analysis of the civic contributions of a heretofore unheralded group of historical actors, and an examination of the gendered nature of attitudes toward social interactions between the races.