Bruce A. Glasrud, Ph.D.
In 1917, barely into his second term as governor of Texas, James E. Ferguson was impeached, convicted, and removed from office. Impeached provides a new examination of the rise and fall of Ferguson’s political fortunes, offering a focused look at how battles over economic class, academic freedom, women’s enfranchisement, and concentrated political power came to be directed toward one politician.
Jessica Brannon-Wranosky and Bruce A. Glasrud have brought together top scholars to shine a light on this unique chapter in Texas history. An overview by John R. Lundberg offers a comprehensive survey of the impeachment process. Kay Reed Arnold then follows the Ferguson story into the halls of academia at the University of Texas—which Ferguson threatened to close—sparking a fierce response by faculty, alumni, students, and, especially, the Women’s Committee for Good Government. Rachel M. Gunter further places the Ferguson impeachment in the context of the suffrage movement. Leah LaGrone Ochoa then explores Ferguson’s hot-and-cold relationship with the Texas press, and Mark Stanley examines the impact of the impeachment on Texas politics in the decades that followed. Jessica Brannon-Wranosky concludes with an assessment of the historical memory of Ferguson's impeachment throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Throughout the South, black women were crucial to the Civil Rights Movement, serving as grassroots and organizational leaders. They protested, participated, sat in, mobilized, created, energized, led particular efforts, and served as bridge builders to the rest of the community. Ignored at the time by white politicians and the media alike, with few exceptions they worked behind the scenes to effect the changes all in the movement sought. Until relatively recently, historians, too, have largely ignored their efforts.
Although African American women mobilized all across Dixie, their particular strategies took different forms in different states, just as the opposition they faced from white segregationists took different shapes. Studies of what happened at the state and local levels are critical not only because of what black women accomplished, but also because their activism, leadership, and courage demonstrated the militancy needed for a mass movement.
In this volume, scholars address similarities and variations by providing case studies of the individual states during the 1950s and 1960s, laying the groundwork for more synthetic analyses of the circumstances, factors, and strategies used by black women in the former Confederate states to destroy the system of segregation in this country.