You Belong to Me

Sex, Race and Murder in the South

The Ruby McCollum Story

Professor kenneth nunn

“When we talk about consent, it means a person has full understanding of consequences and can give consent freely and voluntarily without pressure. The notion is the same, but we couldn’t call what happened between white exploiters and AA females consent. The question would be, “Could she afford not to consent?”

“The Ruby McCollum case is extraordinary for its time. For a black woman to be in this situation, being approached by a prominent doctor who had great social status, who thought because of that, he could have sexual relations with her whenever he wanted. If you think about our country’s supposed focus on freedom, on individual rights, concern with rights of women. And then to be aware for a long period of history there were women whose rights and autonomy were completely disregarded. This happened at a time when we were championing the rights of freedom around the globe. Talking about how much better the American free capitalist system was. While this was happening.”

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