Freedom Courts: An Analysis of Black Women’s Divorce in Attala County During Mississippi’s Anti-Divorce Campaign, 1890–1940
Keywords:Divorce, Race, Women's History, African-American History, Mississippi
The essay argues that divorce, as a legal maneuver, provided Black women with the opportunity to challenge oppression within the household while simultaneously pushing back against broader efforts to curtail access to divorce. Framed within the New Negro Era, the article analyzes the competing realities of divorce as both a racialized political issue and an internal struggle for independence. Utilizing newspapers and divorce petitions, the article captures how divorce gave Black women a voice and a platform in which they could declare independence in a society that was historically known for its suppression of African Americans.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Evan Howard Ashford
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