Historian Jane Dailey offers a reinterpretation of the fight for African American rights, showing how that fight has been closely bound, both in terms of law and in the white imagination, to the question of interracial sex and marriage.
... well-researched ... not a belief likely to surprise those literate in African-American history, but [Dailey's] argument that fear of Black sexuality and miscegenation has been the driving force behind structural racism and white supremacy is confident and persuasive ... Strangely missing from Dailey’s book is any consideration of white women’s complicity in racialized anxiety and violence against Black people. Though she devotes attention to Emmett Till, she has little to say about Carolyn Bryant Donham, the white woman who set Till’s murder in motion by falsely accusing him of assault. Surely white women contributed to what Baldwin called white Americans’ 'infantile, furtive sexuality' and played a significant role in reinforcing, upholding and exploiting this country’s racial apartheid.
This book makes a compelling argument that white America’s fear of interracial procreation was a driving concern in the creation and maintenance of segregation throughout the Jim Crow era; a thought-provoking read.
A noted historian of race in America, Dailey grounds this book with a clear narrative voice as she reviews the legal cases that institutionalized segregation in the American South ... Dailey shows how inflammatory narratives of sexual predation underpinned these assaults on Black lives, while also revealing how white women were then held to notions of racial 'purity.' An illuminating contribution to the history of racism in America, White Fright reveals how white anxieties around gender and sexuality shaped the Black experience of social injustice.