Black power at work : community control, affirmative action, and the construction industry
edited by David Goldberg and Trevor Griffey.
Ithaca, N.Y. : ILR Press/Cornell University Press, 2010.
To realize the urban redevelopment programs of the 1960s, cities employed exclusively white union locals to rebuild predominantly black inner-city neighborhoods. African American activists across the country, who had been fighting for local community control of inner-city economies, protested these decisions and forced politicians to use affirmative action as a way to desegregate the construction industry. Black Power at Work chronicles the efforts of the Black Power movement to open up the construction industry to African Americans between 1963 and 1969, a landmark struggle that gave rise to the affirmative action policies that have since helped diversify the American workplace. Through case studies of local movements in Brooklyn, Newark, the Bay Area, Detroit, Chicago, and Seattle, this book shows how racism in the building trades unions became a flashpoint for activism by the Black Power movement and community control organizers during the 1960s. It also speaks directly to much more recent debates about job training and placement for unemployed, underemployed, and underrepresented workers. The Black Power movement's demands for community control of construction, access to decent-paying jobs, and union inclusion remain, four decades later, equally relevant today, as does the book's focus on the synergy between labor activism and community organizing.
Tasting freedom : Octavius Catto and the battle for equality in Civil War America
Daniel R. Biddle, Murray Dubin.
Philadelphia : Temple University Press, 2010.
Octavius Valentine Catto was an orator who shared stages with Frederick Douglass, a second baseman on Philadelphia's best black baseball team, a teacher at the city's finest black school and an activist who fought in the state capital and on the streets for equal rights. With his racially-charged murder, the nation lost a civil rights pioneer-one who risked his life a century before Selma and Birmingham. InTasting FreedomMurray Dubin and Pulitzer Prize winner Daniel Biddle painstakingly chronicle the life of this charismatic black leader-a "free" black whose freedom was in name only. Born in the American south, where slavery permeated everyday life, he moved north where he joined the fight to be truly free-free to vote, go to school, ride on streetcars, play baseball and even participate in July 4th celebrations. Catto electrified a biracial audience in 1864 when he proclaimed, "There must come a change," calling on free men and women to act and educate the newly freed slaves. With a group of other African Americans who called themselves a "band of brothers," they challenged one injustice after another.Tasting Freedompresents the little-known stories of Catto and the men and women who struggled to change America. This book will change the way you understand American history.
At the dark end of the street : black women, rape, and resistance : a new history of the civil rights movement from Rosa Parks to the rise of black power
Danielle L. McGuire.
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2010.
Rosa Parks was often described as a sweet and reticent elderly woman whose tired feet caused her to defy segregation on Montgomery’s city buses, and whose supposedly solitary, spontaneous act sparked the 1955 bus boycott that gave birth to the civil rights movement. The truth of who Rosa Parks was and what really lay beneath the 1955 boycott is far different from anything previously written. In this groundbreaking and important book, Danielle McGuire writes about the rape in 1944 of a twenty-four-year-old mother and sharecropper, Recy Taylor, who strolled toward home after an evening of singing and praying at the Rock Hill Holiness Church in Abbeville, Alabama. Seven white men, armed with knives and shotguns, ordered the young woman into their green Chevrolet, raped her, and left her for dead. The president of the local NAACP branch office sent his best investigator and organizer to Abbeville. Her name was Rosa Parks. In taking on this case, Parks launched a movement that ultimately changed the world. The author gives us the never-before-told history of how the civil rights movement began; how it was in part started in protest against the ritualistic rape of black women by white men who used economic intimidation, sexual violence, and terror to derail the freedom movement; and how those forces persisted unpunished throughout the Jim Crow era when white men assaulted black women to enforce rules of racial and economic hierarchy. Black women’s protests against sexual assault and interracial rape fueled civil rights campaigns throughout the South that began during World War II and went through to the Black Power movement. The Montgomery bus boycott was the baptism, not the birth, of that struggle. At the Dark End of the Streetdescribes the decades of degradation black women on the Montgomery city buses endured on their way to cook and clean for their white bosses. It reveals how Rosa Parks, by 1955 one of the most radical activists in Alabama, had had enough. “There had to be a stopping place,” she said, “and this seemed to be the place for me to stop being pushed around.” Parks refused to move from her seat on the bus, was arrested, and, with fierce activist Jo Ann Robinson, organized a one-day bus boycott. The protest, intended to last twenty-four hours, became a yearlong struggle for dignity and justice. It broke the back of the Montgomery city bus lines and bankrupted the company. We see how and why Rosa Parks, instead of becoming a leader of the movement she helped to start, was turned into a symbol of virtuous black womanhood, sainted and celebrated for her quiet dignity, prim demeanor, and middle-class propriety—her radicalism all but erased. And we see as well how thousands of black women whose courage and fortitude helped to transform America were reduced to the footnotes of history. A controversial, moving, and courageous book; narrative history at its best.
Toward freedom land : the long struggle for racial equality in America
Lexington, Ky. : University Press of Kentucky, c2010.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Acknowledgments -- Introduction -- The preconditions for racial change -- The New Deal and race relations -- The Detroit race riot of 1943 -- Racial militancy and interracial violence in the Second World War -- African American militancy in the World War II South : another perspective -- Willkie as liberal : civil liberties and civil rights -- African Americans, American Jews, and the Holocaust -- Harry Truman and the election of 1948 : the coming of age of civil rights in American politics -- Martin Luther King Jr. : seeing Lazarus, 1967-1968 -- The second reconstruction.
We ain't what we ought to be : the Black freedom struggle from emancipation to Obama
Cambridge, Mass. : Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2010.
In this exciting revisionist history, Stephen Tuck traces the black freedom struggle in all its diversity, from the first years of freedom during the Civil War to President Obamarsquo;s inauguration. As it moves from popular culture to high politics, from the Deep South to New England, the West Coast, and abroad, Tuck weaves gripping stories of ordinary black people-as well as celebrated figures-into the sweep of racial protest and social change. The drama unfolds from an armed march of longshoremen in postndash;Civil War Baltimore to Booker T. Washingtonrsquo;s founding of Tuskegee Institute; from the race riots following Jack Johnsonrsquo;s ldquo;fight of the centuryrdquo; to Rosa Parksrsquo; refusal to move to the back of a Montgomery bus; and from the rise of hip hop to the journey of a black Louisiana grandmother to plead with the Tokyo directors of a multinational company to stop the dumping of toxic waste near her home.We Ainrsquo;t What We Ought To Be rejects the traditional narrative that identifies the Southern non-violent civil rights movement as the focal point of the black freedom struggle. Instead, it explores the dynamic relationships between those seeking new freedoms and those looking to preserve racial hierarchies, and between grassroots activists and national leaders. As Tuck shows, strategies were ultimately contingent on the power of activists to protest amidst shifting economic and political circumstances in the U.S. and abroad. This book captures an extraordinary journey that speaks to all Americans-both past and future.
The education of a Black radical : a Southern civil rights activist's journey, 1959-1964
D'Army Bailey ; with Roger Easson ; foreword by Nikki Giovanni.
Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, c2009.
Memphis native D'Army Bailey was the freshman class president at Southern University when four black college students refused to leave the whites-only lunch counter of a Greensboro, North Carolina Woolworth's on February 1, 1960. Their action set off a wave of similar protests among black college students across the South, including D'Army Bailey and his classmates at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The Education of a Black Radical details Bailey's experiences on the front lines of the black student movement of the early 1960s, providing a rare firsthand account of the early days of America's civil rights struggle and a shining example of one man's struggle to uphold the courageous principles of liberty, justice, and equality. Â¶ After being expelled from Southern for leading a class boycott to protest the administration's efforts to quell the lingering unrest on campus, Bailey continued his academic journey north to Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. He sustained and expanded his activism in the North and he provides invaluable eyewitness accounts of many major events from the civil rights era, including the 1963 March on Washington. Labeled "subversive" and a "black nationalist militant" by the FBI, Bailey crossed paths with many visionary activists, including Malcolm X, Abbie Hoffman, Reverend Will D. Campbell, Anne Braden, James Meredith, Tom Hayden and future Congressmen Barney Frank, John Lewis, and Allard Lowenstein.