Strom Thurmond and "Paramour Rights" in the Segregationist South (Holiday, Florida, December 19, 2003)

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Strom Thurmond lived in an era when many white men practiced "Paramour Rights" in the Segregationist South, taking on a "colored" mistress and fathering children by them, free of any legal responsibility.

Strom Thurmond was not alone in taking a "colored" woman to be his mistress in the Segregationist South.

In 1952, Ruby McCollum, a wealthy African-American wife, found herself pregnant a second time by her white physician and Florida senator-elect lover, Dr. C. Leroy Adams. Torn between her husband, who threatened to shoot her if she had another white baby, and her lover, who threatened to shoot her if she aborted his child, Ruby chose to shoot her lover.

Ruby's testimony, appearing in print for the first time in The Trial of Ruby McCollum (1st Books Library), sounded the death knell of "Paramour Rights," the unwritten Antebellum law declaring a white man's right to take a black woman as his paramour, whether she was married or not.

Zora Hurson wrote of the trial, "I had the feeling that the trial was a conspiracy of silence. The real story took place behind a curtain of secrecy."

Now, for the first time, the silence is broken, and readers can hear the story told truthfully by someone who knew all of the characters.

Authors were featured guest speakers at this year's Miami Book Fair International.

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Order an autographed copy from the authors on their website,, from the publisher by calling Toll Free: 1-888-280-7715, or from your favorite bookseller.

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C. Arthur Ellis, Ph.D.
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