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The Shadow Crisis and the Matter of Defense Funds in Scottsboro

January 31 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Wednesday, January 31st, 2024

5:30pm – 7:00pm

20 Cooper Square, Room 101

Register here for in-person 

Attend via Zoom here

The central crisis in the Scottsboro case of the 1930s was to keep these boys alive by freeing them from prison. Yet, the well-being of the boys and their families proved to be the crisis in the shadows. This first mass fundraising campaign for racial justice privileged legal defense funds. However, their mothers’ work as fundraisers and the commitment of the International Labor Defense to distribute money directly to the boys in prison and to their families reveals the complications of movement money. In this talk, Dr. Mills offers a defense of an expanded view of defense funds which were required to ensure these boys and their mothers would not be ravaged by Alabama, white supremacy, or capitalism.

Quincy Mills  is Director of Graduate Studies and Associate Professor of History at the University of Maryland, College Park. He received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Chicago. His research interests attend to the ways African Americans’ wages, wealth, and overall financial well-being helped shape black public spaces, political engagement, and activism.  Dr. Mills is the author of Cutting Along the Color Line: Black Barbers and Barber Shops in America (2013). With Benjamin Talton he edited the anthology Black Subjects in Africa and Its Diasporas: Race and Gender in Research and Writing (2011). He also edited William Still’s Reconstruction-era book The Underground Railroad Record: Narrating the Hardships, Hairbreadth Escapes, and Death Struggles of Slaves in Their Efforts for Freedom (2019). He is currently working on his second monograph tentatively titled “Movement Money: Crises, Relief, and the Economy of Activism during the Civil Rights Movement.”

Register here for in-person 

Attend via Zoom here


January 31
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:


20 Cooper Square
20 Cooper Square + Google Map
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