Release Date

May 2024


This book explores the significant contributions of African American women radical activists from 1955 to 1995. It examines the 1961 case of African American working-class self-defense advocate Mae Mallory, who traveled from New York to Monroe, North Carolina, to provide support and weapons to the Negroes with Guns Movement. Accused of kidnapping a Ku Klux Klan couple, she spent thirteen months in a Cleveland jail, facing extradition. African American women radical activists Ethel Azalea Johnson of Negroes with Guns, Audrey Proctor Seniors of the banned New Orleans NAACP, the Trotskyist Workers World Party, Ruthie Stone, and Clarence Henry Seniors of Workers World founded the Monroe Defense Committee to support Mallory. Mae’s daughter, Pat, aged sixteen also participated, and they all bonded as family. When the case ended, they joined the Tanzanian, Grenadian, and Nicaraguan World Revolutions. Using her unique vantage point as Audrey Proctor Seniors’s daughter, Paula Marie Seniors blends personal accounts with theoretical frameworks of organic intellectual, community feminism, and several other theoretical frameworks in analyzing African American radical women’s activism in this era.

Essential biographical and character narratives are combined with an analysis of the social and political movements of the era and their historical significance. Seniors examines the link between Mallory, Johnson, and Proctor Seniors’s radical activism and their connections to national and international leftist human rights movements and organizations. She asks the underlying question: Why did these women choose radical activism and align themselves with revolutionary governments, linking Black human rights to world revolutions?

Seniors’s historical and personal account of the era aims to recover Black women radical activists’ place in history. Her innovative research and compelling storytelling broaden our knowledge of these activists and their political movements.