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LadY Riot

Norah Crabtree lived on Birch Street, where women in the 1960s South were powerless and a man’s prize. Marriage and domestication were the only options for women, but Norah refused.


Ms. Johnson moved into the Crabtree home after nine-year-old Norah’s mother died. Her purpose was to groom Norah for marriage. Norah swore she’d never become a lady, and her rebellion rubbed Birch Street residents the wrong way. When Norah’s father ordered her to become a lady or never see the light of day again, she played pretend.


Norah became a professional “lady faker.” The fakery bought her time but stole her identity. When her best friend, Keith, proposed, Norah declined and escaped to California.


The road to California was dangerous, and Norah kept “lady fakery” in her back pocket for safety. Women seemed to find Norah when they needed each other the most. They found strength in numbers and formed “Lady Riot,” a women’s social movement.

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