Historical Influence

Historical Influence : Reading Georgia Powers as a Grassroots Civil Rights Leader in the Rough Business of Kentucky Politics

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Historical Influence is a thematic political civil rights history of Senator Georgia Davis Powers. Powers made major contributions to the Commonwealth of Kentucky during the rough business of Kentucky politics-the politics of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Life history assumes understanding the specific context of one person is paramount. In Powers' twenty-one years as a Kentucky state senator, she championed bills for open housing and labor, and against race, class, sex, education and job discrimination. Senator Powers sponsored and co-sponsored some 147 bills, 75 of which became laws during her tenure.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 204 pages
  • 149.86 x 226.06 x 15.24mm | 317.51g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739150995
  • 9780739150993

Review quote

Anne B. Onyekwuluje's book, Historical Influence is an illuminating, in depth look at the remarkable career of one of my heroes, Georgia Davis Powers. When New Horizon Press published, I Shared the Dream: The Pride, Passion and Politics of the First Black Woman Senator from Kentucky I had the privilege to visit the Kentucky legislature with Georgia and watched as they all stood up to cheer her. Now due to Onyekwuluje's engrossing book, and our own this dynamic woman is rightfully getting recognition for her role in the Civil Rights movement and Kentucky politics. -- Joan S. Dunphy, New Horizon Press In 1967, Georgia Powers became the first woman, and the first African-American woman, to be elected to the Kentucky Senate. Over her 21-year career, Ms. Powers refused to be defined by labels, while having an enormous and continuing effect on Kentucky society. So it is perfectly fitting that Historical Influence: Reading Georgia Powers as a Grassroots Civil Rights Leader in the Rough Business of Kentucky Politics by Anne B. Onyekwuluje also refuses to be defined by labels. Onyekwuluje, a sociologist at Western Kentucky University, has created a new type of work that spans disciplinary boundaries. Historical Influence is at once a historical biography, a work of political science, an exploration of feminism, and an exploration of African-American studies. But throughout it all, sociology provides a defining lens that keeps the work coherent while showing why society and people react in certain ways. Long before the term 'Critical Race Theory' came into being, Georgia Powers understood the relationship between racism, sexism, hegemony, and power. While Powers was both a feminist and a civil rights activist, she saw the ramifications of class hegemony on those beyond women and blacks. In one instance, Powers stated: 'I was never a miner, but I have lungs ...so I support Black Lung legislation.' In another, she noted that the poll taxes and literacy tests put in place by Jim Crow laws not only affected black people, but also served to keep poor rural whites 'in their place' by disenfranchising their right to vote. One fellow senator referred to her as 'a force of nature.' With solid research and numerous interviews, Anne Onyekwuluje has shined a spotlight on a very unique woman. Georgia Powers served her state well during an important time, and her legacy continues today. Thanks to Onyekwuluje, we can pay tribute to this 'force of nature.' I heartily recommend this book for all public and academic libraries, as well as for special collections dealing with history, politics, feminist studies, an -- Bryan M. Carson, Western Kentucky University By examining the life and work of Georgia Powers in the light of critical race theory and feminism, Anne Onyekwuluje brings an important leader for racial and economic justice back to the forefront where she rightfully belongs. -- Patricia Hagler Minter, Western Kentucky Universityshow more

About Anne B. Onyekwuluje

Anne B. Onyekwuluje is associate professor in the Department of Sociology at Western Kentucky University. The author's speaking arrangements can be made at vicki.armstrong@wku.edu.show more

Table of contents

Preface Acknowledgments Introduction 1. A Hunger for Justice 2. The Civil Rights Movement and Other Influences 3. As Senator 4. Legislation 5. Living out Wells' Political Thinking and Martineau's Socio-political Vision 6. Perspective 7. Feminist Advocacy and Activism Appendices Sources Bibliography Index About the Authorshow more