"By resisting Black people have achieved triumphs, successes, and progress as seen in the end of chattel slavery, dismantling of Jim and Jane Crow segregation in the South, increased political representation at all levels of government, desegregation of educational institutions, the passage of Civil Rights Act of 1964, the opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History in DC and increased and diverse representation of Black experiences in media. Black resistance strategies have served as a model for every other social movement in the country, thus, the legacy and importance of these actions cannot be understated."
"The Black Agenda mobilizes top Black experts from across the country to share transformative perspectives on how to deploy anti-racist ideas and policies into everything from climate policy to criminal justice to healthcare. This book will challenge what you think is possible by igniting long overdue conversations around how to enact lasting and meaningful change rooted in racial justice." --Ibram X. Kendi, #1 New York Times bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist and Stamped From the Beginning From ongoing reports of police brutality to the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on Black Americans, 2020 brought a renewed awareness to the deep-rootedness of racism and white supremacy in every facet of American life. Edited by Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman, The Black Agenda is the first book of its kind--a bold and urgent move towards social justice through a profound collection of essays featuring Black scholars and experts across economics, education, health, climate, and technology. It speaks to the question "What's next for America?" on the subjects of policy-making, mental health, artificial intelligence, climate movement, the future of work, the LGBTQ community, the criminal legal system, and much more. Essayists including Dr. Sandy Darity, Dr. Hedwig Lee, Mary Heglar, and Janelle Jones present groundbreaking ideas ranging from Black maternal and infant health to reparations to AI bias to inclusive economic policy, with the potential to uplift and heal not only Black America, but the entire country.
What does it mean to be an American? The story of the African American past demonstrates the difficulty of answering this seemingly simple question.What does it mean to be an American? The story of the African American past demonstrates the difficulty of answering this seemingly simple question. If being "American" means living in a land of freedom and opportunity, what are we to make of those Americans who were enslaved and who have sufferedfrom the limitations of second-class citizenship throughout their lives? African American history illuminates the United States' core paradoxes, inviting profound questions about what it means to be an American, a citizen, and a human being.This book considers how, for centuries, African Americans have fought for what the black feminist intellectual Anna Julia Cooper called "the cause of freedom." It begins in Jamestown in 1619, when the first shipment of enslaved Africans arrived in that settlement. It narrates the creation of asystem of racialized chattel slavery, the eventual dismantling of that system in the national bloodletting of the Civil War, and the ways that civil rights disputes have continued to erupt in the more than 150 years since Emancipation. The Cause of Freedom carries forward to the Black Lives Mattermovement, a grass-roots activist convulsion that declared that African Americans' present and past have value and meaning. At a moment when political debates grapple with the nation's obligation to acknowledge and perhaps even repair its original sin of racialized slavery, The Cause of Freedom tellsa story about our capacity and willingness to realize the ideal articulated in the country's founding document, namely, that all people were created equal.
Les Payne, the renowned Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist, embarked in 1990 on a nearly 30-year-long quest to interview anyone he could find who had actually known Malcolm X - including siblings, classmates, friends, cellmates, FBI moles and cops and political leaders around the world. His goal was ambitious - to transform what would become hundreds of hours of interviews into a portrait that would separate fact from fiction.The result is this magisterial work that conjures a never-before-seen world of its protagonist, whose title is inspired by a phrase Malcolm X used when he saw his followers stir with purpose to overcome the obstacles of racism. Setting his life not only within the political struggles of his day but also against the larger backdrop of American history, this remarkable masterpiece traces his path from street criminal to devoted moralist and revolutionary.An author who saw Malcolm X speak and could not stand the phrase 'we may never know', Payne writes cinematically from start to finish and delivers extraordinary revelations - from a hair-raising scene of Malcolm's clandestine meeting with the KKK, to a minute-by-minute account of his murder in Harlem in 1965, in which he makes the case for the complicity of the American government.Introduced by Payne's daughter and primary researcher, Tamara Payne, who, following her father's death, heroically completed the biography, The Dead Are Arising is a penetrating and riveting work that affirms the centrality of Malcolm X to the African American freedom struggle and the story of the twentieth century.
A masterclass in the civil rights movement from one of the legendary activists who led it. Compiled from his original lecture notes, Julian Bond's Time to Teach brings his invaluable teachings to a new generation of readers and provides a necessary toolkit for today's activists in the era of Black Lives Matter and #MeToo. Julian Bond sought to dismantle the perception of the civil rights movement as a peaceful and respectable protest that quickly garnered widespread support. Through his lectures, Bond detailed the ground-shaking disruption the movement caused, its immense unpopularity at the time, and the bravery of activists (some very young) who chose to disturb order to pursue justice. Beginning with the movement's origins in the early twentieth century, Bond tackles key events such as the Montgomery bus boycott, the Little Rock Nine, Freedom Rides, sit-ins, Mississippi voter registration, the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Bombing, the March on Washington, the Civil Rights Act, Freedom Summer, and Selma. He explains the youth activism, community ties, and strategizing required to build strenuous and successful movements. With these firsthand accounts of the civil rights movement and original photos from Danny Lyon, Julian Bond's Time to Teach makes history come alive.
The civil rights movement was among the most important historical developments of the twentieth century and one of the most remarkable mass movements in American history. Not only did it decisively change the legal and political status of African Americans, but it prefigured as well the moralpremises and methods of struggle for other historically oppressed groups seeking equal standing in American society. And, yet, despite a vague, sometimes begrudging recognition of its immense import, more often than not the movement has been misrepresented and misunderstood. For the general public,a singular moment, frozen in time at the Lincoln Memorial, sums up much of what Americans know about that remarkable decade of struggle.In The Movement, Thomas C. Holt provides an informed and nuanced understanding of the origins, character, and objectives of the mid-twentieth-century freedom struggle, privileging the aspirations and initiatives of the ordinary, grassroots people who made it. Holt conveys a sense of thesedevelopments as a social movement, one that shaped its participants even as they shaped it. He emphasizes the conditions of possibility that enabled the heroic initiatives of the common folk over those of their more celebrated leaders. This groundbreaking book reinserts the critical concept of"movement" back into our image and understanding of the civil rights movement.
As the first NAACP field secretary for Mississippi, Medgar Wiley Evers put his life on the line to investigate racial crimes (including Emmett Till's murder) and to organise boycotts and voter registration drives. On June 12, 1963, he was shot in the back by white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith as the civil rights leader unloaded a stack of "Jim Crow Must Go" T-shirts in his own driveway. His was the first assassination of a high-ranking public figure in the civil rights movement. While Evers's death ushered in a decade of political assassinations and ignited a powder keg of racial unrest nationwide, his life of service and courage has largely been consigned to the periphery of U.S. and civil rights history. In her compelling study of collective memory and artistic production, Remembering Medgar Evers, Minrose Gwin engages the powerful body of work that has emerged in response to Evers's life and death-fiction, poetry, memoir, drama, and songs from James Baldwin, Margaret Walker, Eudora Welty, Lucille Clifton, Bob Dylan, and Willie Morris, among others. Gwin examines local news accounts about Evers, 1960s gospel and protest music as well as contemporary hip-hop, the haunting poems of Frank X Walker, and contemporary fiction such as The Help and Gwin's own novel, The Queen of Palmyra. In this study, Evers springs to life as a leader of "plural singularity," who modeled for southern African Americans a new form of cultural identity that both drew from the past and broke from it; to quote Gwendolyn Brooks, "He leaned across tomorrow." Fifty years after his untimely death, Evers still casts a long shadow. In her examination of the body of work he has inspired, Gwin probes wide-ranging questions about collective memory and art as instruments of social justice. "Remembered, Evers's life's legacy pivots to the future," she writes, "linking us to other human rights struggles, both local and global." A Sarah Mills Hodge Fund Publication.
From the New York Times bestselling author of White Rage, an unflinching, critical new look at the Second Amendment and how it has been engineered to deny the rights of African Americans since its inception-now with a new introduction and afterword from the author. In The Second, historian and award-winning, bestselling author of White Rage Carol Anderson powerfully illuminates the history and impact of the Second Amendment, how it was designed, and how it has consistently been constructed to keep African Americans powerless and vulnerable. The Second is neither a "pro-gun" nor an "anti-gun" book; the lens is the citizenship rights and human rights of African Americans. From the seventeenth century, when it was encoded into law that the enslaved could not own, carry, or use a firearm whatsoever, until today, with measures to expand and curtail gun ownership aimed disproportionately at the African American population, the right to bear arms has been consistently used as a weapon to keep African Americans powerless--revealing that armed or unarmed, Blackness, it would seem, is the threat that must be neutralized and punished. Throughout American history to the twenty-first century, regardless of the laws, court decisions, and changing political environment, the Second has consistently meant this: That the second a Black person exercises this right, the second they pick up a gun to protect themselves (or the second that they don't), their life--as surely as Philando Castile's, Tamir Rice's, Alton Sterling's--may be snatched away in that single, fatal second. Through compelling historical narrative merging into the unfolding events of today, Anderson's penetrating investigation shows that the Second Amendment is not about guns but about anti-Blackness, shedding shocking new light on another dimension of racism in America.
W. E. B. Du Bois was one of the most prolific African American authors, scholars, and leaders of the twentieth century, but none of his previous biographies have so practically and comprehensively introduced the man and his impact on American history as noted historian Shawn Alexander's W. E. B. Du Bois: An American Intellectual and Activist. Alexander tells Du Bois' story in a clear and concise manner, exploring his racial strategy, civil rights activity, journalistic career, and his role as an international spokesman. The book also captures Du Bois's life as a historian, sociologist, artist, propagandist, and peace activist, while providing space for the voices of his chief critics: Booker T. Washington, Marcus Garvey, Walter White, the Young Turks of the NAACP--not to mention the federal government's characterization of his ever-radicalizing beliefs, particularly after World War II. Alexander's analysis traces the development of Du Bois' thought over time, beginning with his formative years in New England and ending with his death in Ghana. Paying significantly more attention to the many pivotal and previously unexamined intellectual moments in his life, this biography illustrates the experiences that helped bend and mold the indispensable thinker that W.E.B. Du Bois became: the kind whose crowning achievement is his continued relevance in contemporary culture, from classrooms to curbsides.
An "electrifying" biography of Walter White, a little-remembered Black civil rights leader who passed for white in order to investigate racist murders, help put the NAACP on the map, and change the racial identity of America forever (Chicago Review of Books). Walter F. White led two lives: one as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance and the NAACP in the early twentieth century; the other as a white newspaperman who covered lynching crimes in the Deep South at the blazing height of racial violence. Born mixed race and with very fair skin and straight hair, White was able to "pass" for white. He leveraged this ambiguity as a reporter, bringing to light the darkest crimes in America and helping to plant the seeds of the civil rights movement. White's risky career led him to lead a double life. He was simultaneously a second-class citizen subject to Jim Crow laws at home and a widely respected professional with full access to the white world at work. His life was fraught with internal and external conflict--much like the story of race in America. Starting out as an obscure activist, White ultimately became Black America's most prominent leader, during his time. A character study of White's life and career with all these complexities has never been rendered, until now. By the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of The Accidental President, Dewey Defeats Truman, and The Arsenal of Democracy, White Lies uncovers the life of a civil rights leader unlike any other.
Since 2013, extrajudicial police killings of black people have captured the attention of U.S. and international media, substantially because of the work of leaders in the Black Lives Matter (#BLM) movement. #BLM is simultaneously a group of localized organizations and a broad online social movement. In this article, we examine the #BLM movement in detail.
In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation's history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of "race," a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men--bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden? Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates's attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son--and readers--the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children's lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage,Between the World and Me; clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.
Received the 2018 Honorable Mention for the Joe A. Callaway Prize for the Best Book on Drama or Theatre Black Movements analyzes how artists and activists of recent decades reference earlier freedom movements in order to imagine and produce a more expansive and inclusive democracy. The post-Jim Crow, post-apartheid, postcolonial era has ushered in a purportedly color blind society and along with it an assault on race-based forms of knowledge production and coalition formation. Soyica Diggs Colbert argues that in the late twentieth century race went "underground," and by the twenty-first century race no longer functioned as an explicit marker of second-class citizenship. The subterranean nature of race manifests itself in discussions of the Trayvon Martin shooting that focus on his hoodie, an object of clothing that anyone can choose to wear, rather than focusing on structural racism; in discussions of the epidemic proportions of incarcerated black and brown people that highlight the individual's poor decision making rather than the criminalization of blackness; in evaluations of black independence struggles in the Caribbean and Africa that allege these movements have accomplished little more than creating a black ruling class that mirrors the politics of its former white counterpart. Black Movements intervenes in these discussions by highlighting the ways in which artists draw from the past to create coherence about blackness in present and future worlds. Through an exploration of the way that black movements create circuits connecting people across space and time, Black Movements offers important interventions into performance, literary, diaspora, and African American studies.
With a fresh interpretation of African American resistance to kidnapping and pre-Civil War political culture, Blind No More sheds new light on the coming of the Civil War by focusing on a neglected truism: the antebellum free states experienced a dramatic ideological shift that questioned the value of the Union. Jonathan Daniel Wells explores the cause of disunion as the persistent determination on the part of enslaved people that they would flee bondage no matter the risks. By protesting against kidnappings and fugitive slave renditions, they brought slavery to the doorstep of the free states, forcing those states to recognize the meaning of freedom and the meaning of states' rights in the face of a federal government equally determined to keep standing its divided house. Through these actions, African Americans helped northerners and westerners question whether the constitutional compact was still worth upholding, a reevaluation of the republican experiment that would ultimately lead not just to Civil War but to the Thirteenth Amendment, ending slavery. Wells contends that the real story of American freedom lay not with the Confederate rebels nor even with the Union army but instead rests with the tens of thousands of self-emancipated men and women who demonstrated to the Founders, and to succeeding generations of Americans, the value of liberty.
Though there are several studies devoted to aspects of Martin Luther King Jr.'s intellectual thought, there has been no comprehensive study of his overarching theory of political service. In The Drum Major Instinct, Justin Rose draws on Martin Luther King Jr.'s sermons, political speeches, and writings to construct and conceptualize King's politics as a unified theory. Rose argues that King's theoretical framework?as seen throughout his wide body of writings?has three central components. First, King posited that all of humanity is tied to an "inescapable network of mutuality" such that no member of society can fully flourish if there are structural barriers preventing others from flourishing. Second, King's theory required that Americans cultivate a sense of love and concern for their fellow members of society, which would motivate them to work collectively toward transforming others and structures of injustice. Finally, King contended that all members of society have the responsibility to participate in collective forms of resistance. This meant that even the oppressed were obligated to engage in political service. Therefore, marginalized people's struggles against injustice were considered an essential aspect of service. Taken together, King's theory of political service calls on all Americans, but especially black Americans, to engage in other-centered, collective action aimed at transforming themselves, others, and structures of injustice. By fully exploring King's thoughts on service, The Drum Major Instinct is an invaluable resource toward understanding how King wanted us all to work to create a more just, democratic society and how his thoughts continue to resonate in contemporary struggles.
In Imprisoned in a Luminous Glare, Leigh Raiford argues that over the past one hundred years activists in the black freedom struggle have used photographic imagery both to gain political recognition and to develop a different visual vocabulary about black lives. Raiford analyzes why activists chose photography over other media, explores the doubts some individuals had about the strategies, and shows how photography became an increasingly effective, if complex, tool in representing black political interests. Offering readings of the use of photography in the antilynching movement, the civil rights movement, and the black power movement, Raiford focuses on key transformations in technology, society, and politics to understand the evolution of photography's deployment in capturing white oppression, black resistance, and African American life. By putting photography at the center of the long African American freedom struggle, Raiford also explores how the recirculation of these indelible images in political campaigns and art exhibits both adds to and complicates our memory of the events.
Looking closely at nineteenth-century texts and twentieth-century novels written by African American women about antebellum America, Resistance Reimagined highlights examples of black women's activism within a society that spoke so much of freedom but granted it so selectively. This book introduces readers to types of resistance that differ from the militancy and violence often associated with activism, and it confronts expectations about what African American literature can and should be. Regis Fox analyzes the work of authors including Anna Julia Cooper, Elizabeth Keckly, Harriet Wilson, and Sherley Anne Williams. Connected by their intellectualism, these thinkers are astutely attuned to the areas of American society that notions of liberalism and progress do not reach. The world they portray in their work is built on philosophical contradictions, legal paradoxes, and incoherent social practices that support white supremacy. Fox shows how these women use their writing to protest antiblack violence, reject superficial reform, call for major sociopolitical change, and challenge the false promises of American democracy.
In this pioneering study of the long and arduous struggle for civil rights in South Carolina, longtime journalist Claudia Smith Brinson details the lynchings, beatings, bombings, cross burnings, death threats, arson, and venomous hatred that black South Carolinians endured--as well as the astonishing courage, devotion, dignity, and compassion of those who risked their lives for equality. Through extensive research and interviews with more than one hundred fifty civil rights activists, many of whom had never shared their stories with anyone, Brinson chronicles twenty pivotal years of petitioning, preaching, picketing, boycotting, marching, and holding sit-ins. Participants' use of nonviolent direct action altered the landscape of civil rights in South Carolina and reverberated throughout the South. These firsthand accounts include the unsung petitioners who risked their lives by supporting Summerton's Briggs v. Elliot, a lawsuit that led to the historic Brown v. Board of Education decision; the thousands of students who were arrested and jailed in 1960 for protests in Rock Hill, Orangeburg, Denmark, Columbia, and Sumter; and the black female employees and leaders who defied a governor and his armed troops during the 1969 hospital strike in Charleston. Brinson also highlights contributions made by remarkable but lesser-known activists, including James M. Hinton Sr., president of the South Carolina Conference of Branches of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; Thomas W. Gaither, Congress of Racial Equality field secretary and scout for the Freedom Rides; Charles F. McDew, a South Carolina State College student and co-founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee; and Mary Moultrie, grassroots leader of the 1969 hospital workers' strike. These intimate stories of courage and conviction, both heartbreaking and inspiring, shine a light on the progress achieved by nonviolent civil rights activists while also revealing white South Carolinians' often violent resistance to change. Although significant racial disparities remain, the sacrifices of these brave men and women produced real progress--and hope for the future.
American political thought has been shaped by those who fought back against social inequality, economic exclusion, the denial of political representation, and slavery, the country's original sin. Yet too often the voices of African American resistance have been neglected, silenced, or forgotten. In this timely book, Alex Zamalin considers key moments of resistance to demonstrate its current and future necessity, focusing on five activists across two centuries who fought to foreground slavery and racial injustice in American political discourse. Struggle on Their Minds shows how the core values of the American political tradition have been continually challenged--and strengthened--by antiracist resistance, creating a rich legacy of African American political thought that is an invaluable component of contemporary struggles for racial justice. Zamalin looks at the language and concepts put forward by the abolitionists David Walker and Frederick Douglass, the antilynching activist Ida B. Wells, the Black Panther Party organizer Huey Newton, and the prison abolitionist Angela Davis. Each helped revise and transform ideas about power, justice, community, action, and the role of emotion in political action. Their thought encouraged abolitionists to call for the eradication of slavery, black journalists to chastise American institutions for their indifference to lynching, and black radicals to police the police and to condemn racial injustice in the American prison system. Taken together, these movements pushed political theory forward, offering new language and concepts to sustain democracy in tense times. Struggle on Their Minds is a critical text for our contemporary moment, showing how the political thought that comes out of resistance can energize the practice of democratic citizenship and ultimately help address the prevailing problem of racial injustice.
Eyes on the Prize is an American television series and 14-part documentary about the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. The documentary originally aired on the PBS network and also aired in the United Kingdom on BBC2. Created and executive produced by Henry Hampton at the film production company Blackside and narrated by Julian Bond, the ...
Opening with a montage of four hundred years of race injustice in America, this powerful documentary provides the historical context for the establishment of the 60's civil rights movement. Rare clips of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Fred Hampton, and other activists transport one back to those tumultuous times. Organized by Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton, the Black Panther Party embodied every major element of the civil rights movement which preceded it and inspired the black, brown, yellow, Native American, and women's power movements which followed.
The call for Black Power takes various forms across communities in black America. In Cleveland, Carl Stokes wins election as the first black mayor of a major American city. The Black Panther Party, armed with law books, breakfast programs, and guns, is born in Oakland. Substandard teaching practices prompt parents to gain educational control of a Brooklyn school district but then lead them to a showdown with New York City's teachers' union.
A personal exploration of the devastating impact of police brutality and mass incarceration on the black community told through the eyes of formerly incarcerated activist Ira McKinley. With a raw and powerful urgency, the film speaks directly to the national movement that is rising up and fighting back against a wave of police killings of black people in America.