The University of North Carolina Press

The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture

Alex Lubin

Published by: The University of North Carolina Press

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The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture

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Joining Places

Slave Neighborhoods in the Old South

Anthony E. Kaye

In this new interpretation of antebellum slavery, Anthony Kaye offers a vivid portrait of slaves transforming adjoining plantations into slave neighborhoods. He describes men and women opening paths from their owners' plantations to adjacent farms to go courting and take spouses, to work, to run away, and to otherwise contend with owners and their agents. In the course of cultivating family ties, forging alliances, working, socializing, and storytelling, slaves fashioned their neighborhoods into the locus of slave society.

Joining Places is the first book about slavery to use the pension files of former soldiers in the Union army, a vast source of rich testimony by ex-slaves. From these detailed accounts, Kaye tells the stories of men and women in love, "sweethearting," "taking up," "living together," and marrying across plantation lines; striving to get right with God; carving out neighborhoods as a terrain of struggle; and working to overthrow the slaveholders' regime. Kaye's depiction of slaves' sense of place in the Natchez District of Mississippi reveals a slave society that comprised not a single, monolithic community but an archipelago of many neighborhoods. Demonstrating that such neighborhoods prevailed across the South, he reformulates ideas about slave marriage, resistance, independent production, paternalism, autonomy, and the slave community that have defined decades of scholarship.



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Left of the Color Line

Race, Radicalism, and Twentieth-Century Literature of the United States

Edited by Bill V. Mullen and James Smethurst

This collection of fifteen new essays explores the impact of the organized Left and Leftist theory on American literature and culture from the 1920s to the present. In particular, the contributors explore the participation of writers and intellectuals on the Left in the development of African American, Chicano/Chicana, and Asian American literature and culture. By placing the Left at the center of their examination, the authors reposition the interpretive framework of American cultural studies. Tracing the development of the Left over the course of the last century, the essays connect the Old Left of the pre@-World War II era to the New Left and Third World nationalist Left of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as to the multicultural Left that has emerged since the 1970s. Individual essays explore the Left in relation to the work of such key figures as Ralph Ellison, T. S. Eliot, Chester Himes, Harry Belafonte, Américo Paredes, and Alice Childress. The collection also reconsiders the role of the Left in such critical cultural and historical moments as the Harlem Renaissance, the Cold War, and the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s. The contributors are Anthony Dawahare, Barbara Foley, Marcial González, Fred Ho, William J. Maxwell, Bill V. Mullen, Cary Nelson, B. V. Olguín, Rachel Rubin, Eric Schocket, James Smethurst, Michelle Stephens, Alan Wald, and Mary Helen Washington. A collection of fifteen original essays from established and newer scholars that examines the influence of the organized left on twentieth-century American literature and culture. The essays challenge existing scholarship by placing leftist writers at the center of American culture since the 1920s. Topics include the relationship between canonical figures and the left, the influence of the left on key African American, Chicano, Asian American, and Puerto Rican cultural figures and on important cultural events like the Harlem Renaissance and the Cold War. There is also a discussion of the left’s influence on current academic discourse. This collection of fifteen new essays explores the impact of the organized Left and Leftist theory on American literature and culture from the 1920s to the present. In particular, the contributors explore the participation of writers and intellectuals on the Left in the development of African American, Chicano/Chicana, and Asian American literature and culture. By placing the Left at the center of their examination, the authors reposition the interpretive framework of American cultural studies. This collection of fifteen new essays explores the impact of the organized Left and Leftist theory on American literature and culture from the 1920s to the present. In particular, the contributors explore the participation of writers and intellectuals on the Left in the development of African American, Chicano/Chicana, and Asian American literature and culture. By placing the Left at the center of their examination, the authors reposition the interpretive framework of American cultural studies. Tracing the development of the Left over the course of the last century, the essays connect the Old Left of the pre–World War II era to the New Left and Third World nationalist Left of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as to the multicultural Left that has emerged since the 1970s. Individual essays explore the Left in relation to the work of such key figures as Ralph Ellison, T. S. Eliot, Chester Himes, Harry Belafonte, Américo Paredes, and Alice Childress. The collection also reconsiders the role of the Left in such critical cultural and historical moments as the Harlem Renaissance, the Cold War, and the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s. The contributors are Anthony Dawahare, Barbara Foley, Marcial González, Fred Ho, William J. Maxwell, Bill V. Mullen, Cary Nelson, B. V. Olguín, Rachel Rubin, Eric Schocket, James Smethurst, Michelle Stephens, Alan Wald, and Mary Helen Washington.

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Living for the City

Migration, Education, and the Rise of the Black Panther Party in Oakland, California

Donna Jean Murch

In this nuanced and groundbreaking history, Donna Murch argues that the Black Panther Party (BPP) started with a study group. Drawing on oral history and untapped archival sources, she explains how a relatively small city with a recent history of African American settlement produced such compelling and influential forms of Black Power politics.

During an era of expansion and political struggle in California's system of public higher education, black southern migrants formed the BPP. In the early 1960s, attending Merritt College and other public universities radicalized Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, and many of the young people who joined the Panthers' rank and file. In the face of social crisis and police violence, the most disfranchised sectors of the East Bay's African American community--young, poor, and migrant--challenged the legitimacy of state authorities and of an older generation of black leadership. By excavating this hidden history, Living for the City broadens the scholarship of the Black Power movement by documenting the contributions of black students and youth who created new forms of organization, grassroots mobilization, and political literacy.

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A Movement Without Marches

African American Women and the Politics of Poverty in Postwar Philadelphia

Lisa Levenstein

Women's claims on public institutions brought a range of new resources into poor African American communities. With these resources came new constraints, as public officials frequently responded to women's efforts by limiting benefits and attempting to control their personal lives. Scathing public narratives about women's dependency and their children's illegitimacy placed African American women and public institutions at the center of the growing opposition to black migration and civil rights in northern U.S. cities. Countering stereotypes that have long plagued public debate, ###A Movement Without Marches# offers a new paradigm for understanding postwar U.S. history.

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North of the Color Line

Migration and Black Resistance in Canada, 1870-1955

Sarah-Jane Mathieu

Examining the spread of segregation laws and practices in Canada, whose citizens often imagined themselves as devoid of racism, Mathieu historicizes Canadian racial attitudes, and explores how black migrants brought their own sensibilities about race to Canada, participating in and changing political discourse there. ###North of the Color Line# examines life in Canada for the estimated 5,000 blacks, both African Americans and West Indians, who immigrated to Canada after the end of Reconstruction in the United States. Through the experiences of black railway workers and their union, the Order of Sleeping Car Porters, Sarah-Jane Mathieu connects social, political, labor, immigration, and black diaspora history during the Jim Crow era.

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Not Straight, Not White

Black Gay Men from the March on Washington to the AIDS Crisis

Kevin J. Mumford

This compelling book recounts the history of black gay men from the 1950s to the 1990s, tracing how the major movements of the times—from civil rights to black power to gay liberation to AIDS activism—helped shape the cultural stigmas that surrounded race and homosexuality. In locating the rise of black gay identities in historical context, Kevin Mumford explores how activists, performers, and writers rebutted negative stereotypes and refused sexual objectification. Examining the lives of both famous and little-known black gay activists—from James Baldwin and Bayard Rustin to Joseph Beam and Brother Grant-Michael Fitzgerald—Mumford analyzes the ways in which movements for social change both inspired and marginalized black gay men.

Drawing on an extensive archive of newspapers, pornography, and film, as well as government documents, organizational records, and personal papers, Mumford sheds new light on four volatile decades in the protracted battle of black gay men for affirmation and empowerment in the face of pervasive racism and homophobia.

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The Promise of Patriarchy

Women and the Nation of Islam

Ula Yvette Taylor

The patriarchal structure of the Nation of Islam (NOI) promised black women the prospect of finding a provider and a protector among the organization's men, who were fiercely committed to these masculine roles. Black women's experience in the NOI, however, has largely remained on the periphery of scholarship. Here, Ula Taylor documents their struggle to escape the devaluation of black womanhood while also clinging to the empowering promises of patriarchy. Taylor shows how, despite being relegated to a lifestyle that did not encourage working outside of the home, NOI women found freedom in being able to bypass the degrading experiences connected to labor performed largely by working-class black women and in raising and educating their children in racially affirming environments.

Telling the stories of women like Clara Poole (wife of Elijah Muhammad) and Burnsteen Sharrieff (secretary to W. D. Fard, founder of the Allah Temple of Islam), Taylor offers a compelling narrative that explains how their decision to join a homegrown, male-controlled Islamic movement was a complicated act of self-preservation and self-love in Jim Crow America.

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Proudly We Can Be Africans

Black Americans and Africa, 1935-1961

James H. Meriwether

The mid-twentieth century witnessed nations across Africa fighting for their independence from colonial forces. By examining black Americans' attitudes toward and responses to these liberation struggles, James Meriwether probes the shifting meaning of Africa in the intellectual, political, and social lives of African Americans. Paying particular attention to such important figures and organizations as W. E. B. Du Bois, Martin Luther King Jr., and the NAACP, Meriwether incisively utilizes the black press, personal correspondence, and oral histories to render a remarkably nuanced and diverse portrait of African American opinion. Meriwether builds the book around seminal episodes in modern African history, including nonviolent protests against apartheid in South Africa, the Mau Mau war in Kenya, Ghana's drive for independence under Kwame Nkrumah, and Patrice Lumumba's murder in the Congo. Viewing these events within the context of their own changing lives, especially in regard to the U.S. civil rights struggle, African Americans have continually reconsidered their relationship to contemporary Africa and vigorously debated how best to translate their concerns into action in the international arena. Grounded in black Americans' encounters with Africa, this transnational history sits astride the leading issues of the twentieth century: race, civil rights, anticolonialism, and the intersections of domestic race relations and U.S. foreign relations. Meriwether explores the dynamic nature of Africa's role in African American lives from the middle 1930s to the early 1960s, during the confluence of the liberation struggles in Africa and the civil rights movement in the United States. The mid-twentieth century witnessed nations across Africa fighting for their independence from colonial forces. By examining black Americans' attitudes toward and responses to these liberation struggles, James Meriwether probes the shifting meaning of Africa in the intellectual, political, and social lives of African Americans. Paying particular attention to such important figures and organizations as W. E. B. Du Bois, Martin Luther King Jr., and the NAACP, Meriwether incisively utilizes the black press, personal correspondence, and oral histories to render a remarkably nuanced and diverse portrait of African American opinion. Meriwether builds the book around seminal episodes in modern African history, including nonviolent protests against apartheid in South Africa, the Mau Mau war in Kenya, Ghana's drive for independence under Kwame Nkrumah, and Patrice Lumumba's murder in the Congo. Viewing these events within the context of their own changing lives, especially in regard to the U.S. civil rights struggle, African Americans have continually reconsidered their relationship to contemporary Africa and vigorously debated how best to translate their concerns into action in the international arena. Grounded in black Americans' encounters with Africa, this transnational history sits astride the leading issues of the twentieth century: race, civil rights, anticolonialism, and the intersections of domestic race relations and U.S. foreign relations.

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Right to Ride

Streetcar Boycotts and African American Citizenship in the Era of Plessy v. Ferguson

Blair L. M. Kelley

Through a reexamination of the earliest struggles against Jim Crow, Blair Kelley exposes the fullness of African American efforts to resist the passage of segregation laws dividing trains and streetcars by race in the early Jim Crow era. Right to Ride chronicles the litigation and local organizing against segregated rails that led to the Plessy v. Ferguson decision in 1896 and the streetcar boycott movement waged in twenty-five southern cities from 1900 to 1907. Kelley tells the stories of the brave but little-known men and women who faced down the violence of lynching and urban race riots to contest segregation.

Focusing on three key cities--New Orleans, Richmond, and Savannah--Kelley explores the community organizations that bound protestors together and the divisions of class, gender, and ambition that sometimes drove them apart. The book forces a reassessment of the timelines of the black freedom struggle, revealing that a period once dismissed as the age of accommodation should in fact be characterized as part of a history of protest and resistance.

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Self-Taught

African American Education in Slavery and Freedom

Heather Andrea Williams

In this previously untold story of African American self-education, Heather Andrea Williams moves across time to examine African Americans' relationship to literacy during slavery, during the Civil War, and in the first decades of freedom. Self-Taught traces the historical antecedents to freedpeople's intense desire to become literate and demonstrates how the visions of enslaved African Americans emerged into plans and action once slavery ended.

Enslaved people, Williams contends, placed great value in the practical power of literacy, whether it was to enable them to read the Bible for themselves or to keep informed of the abolition movement and later the progress of the Civil War. Some slaves devised creative and subversive means to acquire literacy, and when slavery ended, they became the first teachers of other freedpeople. Soon overwhelmed by the demands for education, they called on northern missionaries to come to their aid. Williams argues that by teaching, building schools, supporting teachers, resisting violence, and claiming education as a civil right, African Americans transformed the face of education in the South to the great benefit of both black and white southerners.



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