Courage Under Fire

November 7, 2010 in 1940s-1950s, 1950s-1960s, 1960s-1970s, Oral history, Political history, Social history

Anne Braden, KET bio

Anne Braden, 1999

The more one examines the life of Anne Braden, the more one realizes how strong a resolve she possessed. Without the proverbial “dog in the fight” she embarked on a mission for social equality for blacks, when, as a southern white women she had nothing to gain by doing so. Her journey began in 1945 as a young liberal reporter for the “Anniston star” a newspaper in Birmingham AL. She would confess though that the true turning point for her was what became know as the “Truman Doctrine” in 1947.

Knowing that there were things like the “Loyalty Oaths”“Red Scare” and the dreaded “HUAC” to contend with, she persevered. She and her husband and any group or organization they were associated with were constantly under the surveillance by the authorities. She was indicted for sedition in 1954 while she and her husband Carl had two (2) toddlers. Her husband was convicted and sentence to 15 years that same year. She was arrested on numerous occasions. One of her last arrests was at 72yrs old in 1996 for protesting the lack of hiring of minorities in professional golf.

One of her daughters died at the age of ten (10). Her husband passed away in 1975, eleven (11) years after the death of her second born. She continued her work to bring about racial equality for another thirty (30) years before passing away in 2006. Why would someone who had so much to lose, especially in the 50’s & 60’s, continue to fight for the rights of others?


See the Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research,

3 responses to Courage Under Fire

  1. Without people who had an open mind, and saw that discriminating against people based on their race America would never changed. It takes people who do not have anything to gain from this, but just standing up for one’s right to make an impact.

  2. A lot of people through out history believed in a certain thing, but didn’t act on it because people feel alone. It takes unbelievable courage to do what Anne Braden and other have done. Most people follow and don’t lead, but its the people who are brave enough to lead that end up making huge changes and differences in our world.

  3. It takes a special person to not just go with the flow of things and continually question the norms of society. Anne Braden was not just a special person, but an extraordinary woman and citizen. If the few people like Anne Braden had not existed, where would we be today? I also ask myself this question in regards to the inequalities of today; will people continue to question the injustices in our society or have the Anne Braden’s gone with time?

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