The hostesses of the Civil Rights Movement: They were school teachers, church ladies, and club women. Their subtle contributions played a vital role in the change that was to come.

While others hit the streets, marching, singing protest songs and risking arrest, these women made their contributions to the Civil Rights Movement in their kitchens. They opened their homes to the architects and strategists of the Movement, providing home cooked meals, places to rest and safe rooms for plotting attacks on Jim Crow.

Rosalind Bentley’s Great Aunt Lucy and one of her cookbooks.

Rosalind Bentley is a longtime journalist, but she didn’t know how a very special aunt became one of those stealth contributors. She traveled to Albany, Georgia to learn more about how that aunt became one of the Hostesses of the Movement.


Rosalind Bentley (l) with Ms. Rutha Mae Harris, who sang for this episode.

Rosalind Bentley, reporter for this episode, is an award-winning journalist and enterprise reporter at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Her stories have appeared in the New York TimesEssence and Ebonymagazines. Rosalind’s work has also been anthologized in Best American Newspaper Narratives and she has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Rose Reid produced this episode.



Hostesses of the Movement (companion feature from Gravy journal)

Extra Gravy: newsreels from Albany, Georgia with a footnote by Rosalind Bentley

Eyes on the Prize by Juan Williams and Julian Bond

My Soul is Rested by Howell Raines

Albany Civil Rights Institute