White Fright: The Sexual Panic at the Heart of America's Racist History
Book Overview A major new history of the fight for racial equality in America, arguing that fear of black sexuality has undergirded white supremacy from the start In White Fright , historian Jane Dailey upends our understanding of the long struggle for African American rights. Those fighting against equality were not exclusively motivated by a sense of innate superiority, as is often supposed, but also by an intense preoccupation with the question of interracial sex and marriage. In this urgent investigation, Dailey examines how white fears played out in battles over lynching, in policing of black troops' behavior overseas during World War II, in the violent outbursts following the Brown v. Board decision, and in the aftermath of the eventual Loving v. Virginia ruling, which finally declared marriage a "fundamental freedom." Placing sex at the center of civil rights history, White Fright offers a bold new take on one of the most confounding threads running through American history.