This song is about the white journalist Anne Braden, who was a civil rights activist in the southern United States. She decided to protest against the Jim Crow laws (laws regarding racial segregation in neighborhoods). In 1954 as a method of her objection against this, Anne Braden and her husband Carl arranged to purchase a house in an all-white area of Louisville for an African-American couple, the Wades. Upon discovering that blacks had moved in, white neighbors tried to intimidate the Wades with cross burnings and bombings. Anne and her husband were charged with sedition, and Carl Braden was imprisoned for a time before the charges were dropped on payment of a bond. In 1958 Anne published a book The Wall Between
, which chronicled the ordeal. It was the runner-up for the National Book Award that year.