Preface
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

ix Preface D uring the 1960s and 1970s many intriguing movements and individuals attracted significant public and scholarly attention. While the authors could only focus on a few leaders and movements, the chapters in this volume provide intriguing studies that serve as an introduction to this exciting era in American history. This volume begins with Davis W. Houck’s chapter, “Fannie Lou Hamer on Winona : Trauma, Recovery, Memory.” Houck argues that too little attention has been paid to the women who played a significant role in the civil rights movement. His chapter attempts to overcome the weakness of previous research by introducing the reader to the powerful rhetoric and personality of Fannie Lou Hamer. He argues that Hamer was an important part of the collective memory of the civil rights movement and is worthy of study. Hamer attracted national attention when she delivered a speech before the Credentials Committee at the 1964 Democratic National Convention. In that speech she told the story of her arrest and beating on June 9, 1963, in Winona, Mississippi. After that speech she spoke across the nation as a representation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. She told the Winona story in many of those speeches. Houck’s chapter analyzes three of Hamer’s speeches, in Greenwood, Mississippi, in 1963, Indianola, Mississippi, in 1964, and Chicago, Illinois, in May 1970, in order to describe how the story about the events in Winona changed based on the audience and the occasion. Houck also examines how the story evolved over several years. He analyzes the speech in order to discover how Hamer used the speeches to help her emotional healing. His analysis is based on trauma theory and provides PREFACE x an interesting insight into the relationship between traumatic events and rhetorical practice. The chapter also provides a brief history of the civil rights movement in Mississippi and describes the events and people involved in the events in Winona on June 9, 1963. It discusses how the collective memory of the story informs Hamer’s historical legacy. Houck’s chapter provides an interesting and readable analysis of one of the most intriguing figures of the 1960s. Lisa M. Corrigan’s chapter, “Theorizing Black Power in Prison: The Writings of George Jackson and Angela Davis,” focuses on an understudied and important area of protest in the 1960s—writings from and about prison. Corrigan analyzes the rhetoric of Jackson’s letters from Soledad Prison and Davis’s autobiography. No previous study has examined the intellectual collaboration between Jackson and Davis and how they reconstituted the image of the political prisoner through their writings. Jackson got most of his ideas through his reading while in isolation in prison and his relationship with groups like the Black Panthers. Many of his writings were based on the foco theory of Che Guevara. Jackson also attempted to create awareness among prisoners of the actions of black power groups outside the prisons. Through their writings, prisoners were made more human, and Jackson and Davis make it clear that prisons destroy rather than rehabilitate prisoners. All black prisoners are political prisoners, and prisons are a means of maintaining white supremacy . Jackson and Davis argue that prisons are black colonies, but the convicts are capable of becoming revolutionaries who challenge the prison system. Prisoners are encouraged to read and write so that they can become critical voices. Davis describes her experience as being different from Jackson’s. She was not in solitary confinement when she was incarcerated so she became a part of the prison family and its social system. Her book tells a great deal about women prisoners and prisons, an area of research that has received little attention in the past. The works place the prison and incarceration at the center of the analysis of power, nationalism, resistance, and violence. Corrigan’s insight into the writings of Jackson and Davis provide an important first step in the analysis of such prison writings. Richard J. Jensen and John C. Hammerback’s chapter, “From Farmworker to Cultural Icon: Cesar Chavez’s Rhetorical Crusade,” focuses on the best-known aspect of the Chicano movement of the 1960s and early 1970s, the United Farm Workers and its leader, Cesar Chavez. The chapter offers a brief introduction to the Chicano movement’s best-known leaders but mainly focuses on Chavez and his union. The chapter details Chavez’s rhetoric in the 1960s and early 1970s and compares that discourse to a significant speech he delivered to the Commonwealth Club...


pdf