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River Of Hope

Author: Elizabeth Gritter
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 0813144752
Size: 56.51 MB
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One of the largest southern cities and a hub for the cotton industry, Memphis, Tennessee, was at the forefront of black political empowerment during the Jim Crow era. Compared to other cities in the South, Memphis had an unusually large number of African American voters. Black Memphians sought reform at the ballot box, formed clubs, ran for office, and engaged in voter registration and education activities from the end of the Civil War through the Brown v. Board of Education decision of 1954. In this groundbreaking book, Elizabeth Gritter examines how and why black Memphians mobilized politically in the period between Reconstruction and the beginning of the civil rights movement. Gritter illuminates, in particular, the efforts and influence of Robert R. Church Jr., an affluent Republican and founder of the Lincoln League, and the notorious Memphis political boss Edward H. Crump. Using these two men as lenses through which to view African American political engagement, this volume explores how black voters and their leaders both worked with and opposed the white political machine at the ballot box. River of Hope challenges persisting notions of a "Solid South" of white Democratic control by arguing that the small but significant number of black southerners who retained the right to vote had more influence than scholars have heretofore assumed. Gritter's nuanced study presents a fascinating view of the complex nature of political power during the Jim Crow era and provides fresh insight into the efforts of the individuals who laid the foundation for civil rights victories in the 1950s and '60s.

The Dream Is Lost

Author: Julian Maxwell Hayter
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 0813169496
Size: 64.20 MB
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Once the capital of the Confederacy and the industrial hub of slave-based tobacco production, Richmond, Virginia has been largely overlooked in the context of twentieth century urban and political history. By the early 1960s, the city served as an important center for integrated politics, as African Americans fought for fair representation and mobilized voters in order to overcome discriminatory policies. Richmond's African Americans struggled to serve their growing communities in the face of unyielding discrimination. Yet, due to their dedication to strengthening the Voting Rights Act of 1965, African American politicians held a city council majority by the late 1970s. In The Dream Is Lost, Julian Maxwell Hayter describes more than three decades of national and local racial politics in Richmond and illuminates the unintended consequences of civil rights legislation. He uses the city's experience to explain the political abuses that often accompany American electoral reforms and explores the arc of mid-twentieth-century urban history. In so doing, Hayter not only reexamines the civil rights movement's origins, but also seeks to explain the political, economic, and social implications of the freedom struggle following the major legislation of the 1960s. Hayter concludes his study in the 1980s and follows black voter mobilization to its rational conclusion -- black empowerment and governance. However, he also outlines how Richmond's black majority council struggled to the meet the challenges of economic forces beyond the realm of politics. The Dream Is Lost vividly illustrates the limits of political power, offering an important view of an underexplored aspect of the post--civil rights era.

James And Esther Cooper Jackson

Author: Sara Rzeszutek Haviland
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 0813166276
Size: 38.87 MB
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James Jackson and Esther Cooper Jackson grew up understanding that opportunities came differently for blacks and whites, men and women, rich and poor. In turn, they devoted their lives to the fight for equality, serving as career activists throughout the black freedom movement. Having grown up in Virginia during the depths of the Great Depression, the Jacksons also saw a path to racial equality through the Communist Party. This choice in political affiliation would come to shape and define not only their participation in the black freedom movement but also the course of their own marriage as the Cold War years unfolded. In this dual biography, Sara Rzeszutek Haviland examines the couple's political involvement as well as the evolution of their personal and public lives in the face of ever-shifting contexts. She documents the Jacksons' significant contributions to the early civil rights movement, discussing their time leading the Southern Negro Youth Congress, which laid the groundwork for youth activists in the 1960s; their numerous published writings in periodicals such as Political Affairs; and their editorial involvement in The Worker and the civil rights magazine Freedomways. Drawing upon a rich collection of correspondence, organizational literature, and interviews with the Jacksons themselves, Haviland follows the couple through the years as they bore witness to economic inequality, war, political oppression, and victory in the face of injustice. Her study reveals a portrait of a remarkable pair who lived during a transformative period of American history and whose story offers a vital narrative of persistence, love, and activism across the long arc of the black freedom movement.

Faith In Black Power

Author: Kerry Pimblott
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 0813168902
Size: 35.80 MB
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In 1969, nineteen-year-old Robert Hunt was found dead in the Cairo, Illinois, police station. The white authorities ruled the death a suicide, but many members of the African American community believed that Hunt had been murdered -- a sentiment that sparked rebellions and protests across the city. Cairo suddenly emerged as an important battleground for black survival in America and became a focus for many civil rights groups, including the NAACP. The United Front, a black power organization founded and led by Reverend Charles Koen, also mobilized -- thanks in large part to the support of local Christian congregations. In this vital reassessment of the impact of religion on the black power movement , Kerry Pimblott presents a nuanced discussion of the ways in which black churches supported and shaped the United Front. She deftly challenges conventional narratives of the de-Christianization of the movement, revealing that Cairoites embraced both old-time religion and revolutionary thought. Not only did the faithful fund the mass direct-action strategies of the United Front, but activists also engaged the literature on black theology, invited theologians to speak at their rallies, and sent potential leaders to train at seminaries. Pimblott also investigates the impact of female leaders on the organization and their influence on young activists, offering new perspectives on the hypermasculine image of black power. Based on extensive primary research, this groundbreaking book contributes to and complicates the history of the black freedom struggle in America. It not only adds a new element to the study of African American religion but also illuminates the relationship between black churches and black politics during this tumultuous era.

The Chicago Freedom Movement

Author: Mary Lou Finley
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 0813166519
Size: 45.36 MB
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Six months after the Selma to Montgomery marches and just weeks after the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a group from Martin Luther King Jr.'s staff arrived in Chicago, eager to apply his nonviolent approach to social change in a northern city. Once there, King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) joined the locally based Coordinating Council of Community Organizations (CCCO) to form the Chicago Freedom Movement. The open housing demonstrations they organized eventually resulted in a controversial agreement with Mayor Richard J. Daley and other city leaders, the fallout of which has historically led some to conclude that the movement was largely ineffective. In this important volume, an eminent team of scholars and activists offer an alternative assessment of the Chicago Freedom Movement's impact on race relations and social justice, both in the city and across the nation. Building upon recent works, the contributors reexamine the movement and illuminate its lasting contributions in order to challenge conventional perceptions that have underestimated its impressive legacy.

Battling The Plantation Mentality

Author: Laurie Beth Green
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9780807888872
Size: 59.93 MB
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African American freedom is often defined in terms of emancipation and civil rights legislation, but it did not arrive with the stroke of a pen or the rap of a gavel. No single event makes this more plain, Laurie Green argues, than the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers' strike, which culminated in the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Exploring the notion of "freedom" in postwar Memphis, Green demonstrates that the civil rights movement was battling an ongoing "plantation mentality" based on race, gender, and power that permeated southern culture long before--and even after--the groundbreaking legislation of the mid-1960s. With its slogan "I AM a Man!" the Memphis strike provides a clarion example of how the movement fought for a black freedom that consisted of not only constitutional rights but also social and human rights. As the sharecropping system crumbled and migrants streamed to the cities during and after World War II, the struggle for black freedom touched all aspects of daily life. Green traces the movement to new locations, from protests against police brutality and racist movie censorship policies to innovations in mass culture, such as black-oriented radio stations. Incorporating scores of oral histories, Green demonstrates that the interplay of politics, culture, and consciousness is critical to truly understanding freedom and the black struggle for it.

Black Texas Women

Author: Ruthe Winegarten
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 0292786654
Size: 78.27 MB
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Women of all colors have shaped families, communities, institutions, and societies throughout history, but only in recent decades have their contributions been widely recognized, described, and celebrated. This book presents the first comprehensive history of black Texas women, a previously neglected group whose 150 years of continued struggle and some successes against the oppression of racism and sexism deserve to be better known and understood. Beginning with slave and free women of color during the Texas colonial period and concluding with contemporary women who serve in the Texas legislature and the United States Congress, Ruthe Winegarten organizes her history both chronologically and topically. Her narrative sparkles with the life stories of individual women and their contributions to the work force, education, religion, the club movement, community building, politics, civil rights, and culture. The product of extensive archival and oral research and illustrated with over 200 photographs, this groundbreaking work will be equally appealing to general readers and to scholars of women's history, black history, American studies, and Texas history.

Who Speaks For The Negro

Author: Warren, Robert Penn
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300211945
Size: 48.76 MB
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First published in 1965, this is a unique text in the history of the American Civil Rights Movement. Robert Penn Warren interviewed a wide range of African American leaders, activists, and artists across the country, among them Martin Luther King, Malcom X, and James Baldwin. Sections from the transcripts of these interviews are combined with the author’s reflections on the interviewees and the Civil Rights Movement as a whole to create a powerful oral history of this all-important struggle. A new introduction by David W. Blight places Warren’s book in historical perspective. " In this new edition introduced by the eminent historian David Blight, Who Speaks for the Negro? reveals a provocative admixture of history's variance. Warren's book is a burden of the past from which we cannot escape. It summons us to awaken a more vital national heartbeat of reparations for an American dilemma."—Houston Baker, Vanderbilt University

Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass An American Slave

Author: Frederick Douglass
Publisher: Big Nest via PublishDrive
ISBN: 1910833819
Size: 33.84 MB
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One of the most influential pieces of literature to fuel the abolitionist movement of the early 19th century in the United States, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is a memoir and treatise on abolition written by famous orator and former slave Frederick Douglass. In factual detail, the text describes the events of his life.