Desegregating the Past

The Public Life of Memory in the United States and South Africa

Author: Robyn Autry

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231542518

Category: Social Science

Page: 240

View: 2534

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At the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, South Africa, visitors confront the past upon arrival. They must decide whether to enter the museum through a door marked "whites" or another marked "non-whites." Inside, along with text, they encounter hanging nooses and other reminders of apartheid-era atrocities. In the United States, museum exhibitions about racial violence and segregation are mostly confined to black history museums, with national history museums sidelining such difficult material. Even the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture is dedicated not to violent histories of racial domination but to a more generalized narrative about black identity and culture. The scale at which violent racial pasts have been incorporated into South African national historical narratives is lacking in the U.S. Desegregating the Past considers why this is the case, tracking the production and display of historical representations of racial pasts at museums in both countries and what it reveals about underlying social anxieties, unsettled emotions, and aspirations surrounding contemporary social fault lines around race. Robyn Autry consults museum archives, conducts interviews with staff, and recounts the public and private battles fought over the creation and content of history museums. Despite vast differences in the development of South African and U.S. society, Autry finds a common set of ideological, political, economic, and institutional dilemmas arising out of the selective reconstruction of the past. Museums have played a major role in shaping public memory, at times recognizing and at other times blurring the ongoing influence of historical crimes. The narratives museums produce to engage with difficult, violent histories expose present anxieties concerning identity, (mis)recognition, and ongoing conflict.

Memory and Postwar Memorials

Confronting the Violence of the Past

Author: M. Silberman,F. Vatan

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137343524

Category: Social Science

Page: 252

View: 6517

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The twentieth century witnessed genocides, ethnic cleansing, forced population expulsions, shifting borders, and other disruptions on an unprecedented scale. This book examines the work of memory and the ethics of healing in post authoritarian societies that have experienced state-perpetrated violence.

Heritage after Conflict

Northern Ireland

Author: Elizabeth Crooke,Thomas Maguire

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351164309

Category: History

Page: 176

View: 2665

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The year 2018 marks the twentieth anniversary of the signing of the Belfast Agreement that initiated an uneasy peace in Northern Ireland after the forty years of the Troubles. The last twenty years, however, has still not been sufficient time to satisfactorily resolve the issue of how to deal with the events of the conflict and the dissonant heritages that both gave rise to it and were, in turn, fuelled by it. With contributions from across the UK and Europe, Heritage after Conflict brings together a range of expertise to examine the work to which heritage is currently being put within Northern Ireland. Questions about the contemporary application of remembering infiltrate every aspect of heritage studies, including built heritages, urban regeneration and planning, tourism, museum provision and intangible cultural heritages. These represent challenges for heritage professionals, who must carefully consider how they might curate and conserve dissonant heritages without exacerbating political tensions that might spark violence. Through a lens of critical heritage studies, contributors to this book locate their work within the wider contexts of post-conflict societies, divided cities and dissonant heritages. Heritage after Conflict should be essential reading for academics, researchers and postgraduate students engaged in the study of the social sciences, history, peace studies, economics, cultural geography, museum heritage and cultural policy, and the creative arts. It should also be of great interest to heritage professionals.

History, Memory and Public Life

The Past in the Present

Author: Anna Maerker,Simon Sleight,Adam Sutcliffe

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351055569

Category: History

Page: 326

View: 9090

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History, Memory and Public Life introduces readers to key themes in the study of historical memory and its significance by considering the role of historical expertise and understanding in contemporary public reflection on the past. Divided into two parts, the book addresses both the theoretical and applied aspects of historical memory studies. ‘Approaches to history and memory‘ introduces key methodological and theoretical issues within the field, such as postcolonialism, sites of memory, myths of national origins, and questions raised by memorialisation and museum presentation. ‘Difficult pasts‘ looks at history and memory in practice through a range of case studies on contested, complex or traumatic memories, including the Northern Ireland Troubles, post-apartheid South Africa and the Holocaust. Examining the intersection between history and memory from a wide range of perspectives, and supported by guidance on further reading and online resources, this book is ideal for students of history as well as those working within the broad interdisciplinary field of memory studies.

The Political Life of Urban Streetscapes

Naming, Politics, and Place

Author: Reuben Rose-Redwood,Derek Alderman,Maoz Azaryahu

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317020707

Category: History

Page: 334

View: 7299

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Streetscapes are part of the taken-for-granted spaces of everyday urban life, yet they are also contested arenas in which struggles over identity, memory, and place shape the social production of urban space. This book examines the role that street naming has played in the political life of urban streetscapes in both historical and contemporary cities. The renaming of streets and remaking of urban commemorative landscapes have long been key strategies that different political regimes have employed to legitimize spatial assertions of sovereign authority, ideological hegemony, and symbolic power. Over the past few decades, a rich body of critical scholarship has explored the politics of urban toponymy, and the present collection brings together the works of geographers, anthropologists, historians, linguists, planners, and political scientists to examine the power of street naming as an urban place-making practice. Covering a wide range of case studies from cities in Europe, North America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia, the contributions to this volume illustrate how the naming of streets has been instrumental to the reshaping of urban spatial imaginaries and the cultural politics of place.

Whitewashing the South

White Memories of Segregation and Civil Rights

Author: Kristen M. Lavelle

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 1442232803

Category: Social Science

Page: 238

View: 8774

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Whitewashing the South is a powerful exploration of how ordinary white southerners recall living through extraordinary racial times—Jim Crow, civil rights, and post-civil rights. Drawing on interviews with the oldest living generation of white southerners, the book uncovers uncomfortable racial realities of the past and present.

The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture

Volume 16: Sports and Recreation

Author: Harvey H. Jackson III

Publisher: UNC Press Books

ISBN: 1469616769

Category: Reference

Page: 408

View: 8179

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What southerners do, where they go, and what they expect to accomplish in their spare time, their "leisure," reveals much about their cultural values, class and racial similarities and differences, and historical perspectives. This volume of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture offers an authoritative and readable reference to the culture of sports and recreation in the American South, surveying the various activities in which southerners engage in their nonwork hours, as well as attitudes surrounding those activities. Seventy-four thematic essays explore activities from the familiar (porch sitting and fairs) to the essential (football and stock car racing) to the unusual (pool checkers and a sport called "fireballing"). In seventy-seven topical entries, contributors profile major sites associated with recreational activities (such as Dollywood, drive-ins, and the Appalachian Trail) and prominent sports figures (including Althea Gibson, Michael Jordan, Mia Hamm, and Hank Aaron). Taken together, the entries provide an engaging look at the ways southerners relax, pass time, celebrate, let loose, and have fun.

Their Highest Potential

An African American School Community in the Segregated South

Author: Vanessa Siddle Walker

Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press

ISBN: 9780807866191

Category: Social Science

Page: 276

View: 8712

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African American schools in the segregated South faced enormous obstacles in educating their students. But some of these schools succeeded in providing nurturing educational environments in spite of the injustices of segregation. Vanessa Siddle Walker tells the story of one such school in rural North Carolina, the Caswell County Training School, which operated from 1934 to 1969. She focuses especially on the importance of dedicated teachers and the principal, who believed their jobs extended well beyond the classroom, and on the community's parents, who worked hard to support the school. According to Walker, the relationship between school and community was mutually dependent. Parents sacrificed financially to meet the school's needs, and teachers and administrators put in extra time for professional development, specialized student assistance, and home visits. The result was a school that placed the needs of African American students at the center of its mission, which was in turn shared by the community. Walker concludes that the experience of CCTS captures a segment of the history of African Americans in segregated schools that has been overlooked and that provides important context for the ongoing debate about how best to educate African American children. African American History/Education/North Carolina

"Brown" in Baltimore

School Desegregation and the Limits of Liberalism

Author: Howell S. Baum

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 0801457106

Category: Education

Page: N.A

View: 809

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In the first book to present the history of Baltimore school desegregation, Howell S. Baum shows how good intentions got stuck on what Gunnar Myrdal called the "American Dilemma." Immediately after the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, the city's liberal school board voted to desegregate and adopted a free choice policy that made integration voluntary. Baltimore's school desegregation proceeded peacefully, without the resistance or violence that occurred elsewhere. However, few whites chose to attend school with blacks, and after a few years of modest desegregation, schools resegregated and became increasingly segregated. The school board never changed its policy. Black leaders had urged the board to adopt free choice and, despite the limited desegregation, continued to support the policy and never sued the board to do anything else. Baum finds that American liberalism is the key to explaining how this happened. Myrdal observed that many whites believed in equality in the abstract but considered blacks inferior and treated them unequally. School officials were classical liberals who saw the world in terms of individuals, not races. They adopted a desegregation policy that explicitly ignored students' race and asserted that all students were equal in freedom to choose schools, while their policy let whites who disliked blacks avoid integration. School officials' liberal thinking hindered them from understanding or talking about the city's history of racial segregation, continuing barriers to desegregation, and realistic change strategies. From the classroom to city hall, Baum examines how Baltimore's distinct identity as a border city between North and South shaped local conversations about the national conflict over race and equality. The city's history of wrestling with the legacy of Brown reveals Americans' preferred way of dealing with racial issues: not talking about race. This avoidance, Baum concludes, allows segregation to continue.

The Southern Past

A Clash of Race and Memory

Author: William Fitzhugh Brundage

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674028982

Category: History

Page: 432

View: 6983

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Since the Civil War whites and blacks have struggled over the meanings and uses of the Southern past. Indeed, today's controversies over flying the Confederate flag, renaming schools and streets, and commemorating the Civil War and the civil rights movement are only the latest examples of this ongoing divisive contest over issues of regional identity and heritage. "The Southern Past" argues that these battles are ultimately about who has the power to determine what we remember of the past, and whether that remembrance will honor all Southerners or only select groups. For more than a century after the Civil War, elite white Southerners systematically refined a version of the past that sanctioned their racial privilege and power. In the process, they filled public spaces with museums and monuments that made their version of the past sacrosanct. Yet, even as segregation and racial discrimination worsened, blacks contested the white version of Southern history and demanded inclusion. Streets became sites for elaborate commemorations of emancipation and schools became centers for the study of black history. This counter-memory surged forth, and became a potent inspiration for the civil rights movement and the black struggle to share a common Southern past rather than a divided one. W. Fitzhugh Brundage's searing exploration of how those who have the political power to represent the past simultaneously shape the present and determine the future is a valuable lesson as we confront our national past to meet the challenge of current realities.

Hidden Figures

The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race

Author: Margot Lee Shetterly

Publisher: HarperCollins

ISBN: 0062363611

Category: History

Page: 384

View: 4646

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The #1 New York Times bestseller The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space. Soon to be a major motion picture starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst, and Kevin Costner. Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South’s segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America’s aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right stuff. Suddenly, these overlooked math whizzes had a shot at jobs worthy of their skills, and they answered Uncle Sam’s call, moving to Hampton, Virginia and the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory. Even as Virginia’s Jim Crow laws required them to be segregated from their white counterparts, the women of Langley’s all-black “West Computing” group helped America achieve one of the things it desired most: a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and complete domination of the heavens. Starting in World War II and moving through to the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement and the Space Race, Hidden Figures follows the interwoven accounts of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden, four African American women who participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes. It chronicles their careers over nearly three decades they faced challenges, forged alliances and used their intellect to change their own lives, and their country’s future.

Righteous Lives

Narratives of the New Orleans Civil Rights Movement

Author: Kim Lacy Rogers

Publisher: NYU Press

ISBN: 0814769470

Category: Social Science

Page: 292

View: 9384

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An emotionally evocative, richly textured history based on autobiographical accounts of those who lived and shaped the struggle. The importance of many of Rogers' subjects and the uniqueness of New Orleans make this must reading for anyone interested in the history of the movement. But those interested in oral history and African-American autobiography will find riches aplenty as well. A welcome addition to a number of literatures --Doug McAdam, author of Freedom Summer Righteous Lives skillfully blends oral history with a perceptive analysis of three generations of civil rights leadership in New Orleans. Rogers has revealed not only what people did, but what they remember, and how their assessments of their activism have changed over time. --Donald A. Ritchie, U.S. Senate Historical Office "Rogers paints a slightly less rosy picture, one in which the Louisiana un-American Activities Committee staged a raid on the offices of the Southern Conference Educational Fund (SCEF), and the City Council passed laws prohibiting the right to peaceful assembly, paving the way to jailing protesters." —Gambit Weekly This important study provides fresh insights into the lives of both black and white civil rights leaders, documents the diversity of individuals and motivations, and traces movement history in a major southern city. Well written and well researched, this book is highly recommended for readers at all levels. --Choice Charts the distinctly different experiences and memories of 25 black and white civil rights activists of three 'generations' in New Orleans, opening with a deft sketch of the city's unusual racial background with its black Creole caste. --Publishers Weekly An important study, full of valuable information, profoundly moving testimony, and provocative insights. --The Journal of Southern History A major contribution to our understanding of the civil rights movement. RIGHTEOUS LIVES illustrates the complexity of movements for social change, the long history of seemingly spontaneous conflicts, and the personal consequences of political activism. Rogers reveals how issues of caste and class, of gender and generation divided the black community in New Orleans, while her in-depth interviews and observations bring to the surface previously unexamined contradictions within the white southern experience as well. RIGHTEOUS LIVES also offers perceptive and thought-provoking insights into broader issues of collective and individual memory, life history, and autobiography. It evokes the struggle for African-American self-determination in the Crescent City with clarity and conviction, and it stands as a fitting testimonial to the courageous men and women whose voices provide so much of the book's fascinating narratives and textures. -- George Lipsitz, University of California, San Diego When former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke campaigned for governor in late 1991, race relations in Louisiana were thrust dramatically into the national spotlight. New Orleans, the political and economic hub of the state, is in many ways representative of Louisiana's unique racial mix, a fusion of African-American, Caribbean, European, and white Southern cultures. An old, colorful port famous for its French and Spanish heritage, distinctive architecture, and jazz, New Orleans was a peculiarly segregated city in the 1950s and 1960s. Yet, despite its complicated racial and ethnic identity and heated desegregation battles, New Orleans, unlike other Southern cities such as Birmingham, did not explode. In this moving work, Kim Rogers tells the stories, in their own words, of the New Orleans' civil rights workers who fought to deter the racial terrorism that scarred much of the South in the 1950s and 1960s. Spanning three generations of activists, RIGHTEOUS LIVES traces the risks, triumphs, and disappointments that characterized the lives of New Orleans activists. Chronicling watershed moments in the movement, Rogers' compelling narrative illustrates how blacks and whites worked together to decompress the tensions that accompanied desegregation in the ethnic mosaic of New Orleans.

Doing Oral History

Author: Donald A. Ritchie

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199329354

Category: History

Page: 352

View: 5862

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Doing Oral History is considered the premier guidebook to oral history, used by professional oral historians, public historians, archivists, and genealogists as a core text in college courses and throughout the public history community. Over the past decades, the development of digital audio and video recording technology has continued to alter the practice of oral history, making it even easier to produce quality recordings and to disseminate them on the Internet. This basic manual offers detailed advice on setting up an oral history project, conducting interviews, making video recordings, preserving oral history collections in archives and libraries, and teaching and presenting oral history. Using the existing Q&A format, the third edition asks new questions and augments previous answers with new material, particularly in these areas: 1. Technology: As before, the book avoids recommending specific equipment, but weighs the merits of the types of technology available for audio and video recording, transcription, preservation, and dissemination. Information about web sites is expanded, and more discussion is provided about how other oral history projects have posted their interviews online. 2. Teaching: The new edition addresses the use of oral history in online teaching. It also expands the discussion of Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) with the latest information about compliance issues. 3. Presentation: Once interviews have been conducted, there are many opportunities for creative presentation. There is much new material available on innovative forms of presentation developed over the last decade, including interpretive dance and other public performances. 4. Legal considerations: The recent Boston College case, in which the courts have ruled that Irish police should have access to sealed oral history transcripts, has re-focused attention on the problems of protecting donor restrictions. The new edition offers case studies from the past decade. 5. Theory and Memory: As a beginner's manual, Doing Oral History has not dealt extensively with theoretical issues, on the grounds that these emerge best from practice. But the third edition includes the latest thinking about memory and provides a sample of some of the theoretical issues surrounding oral sources. It will include examples of increased studies into catastrophe and trauma, and the special considerations these have generated for interviewers. 6. Internationalism: Perhaps the biggest development in the past decade has been the spreading of oral history around the world, facilitated in part by the International Oral History Association. New oral history projects have developed in areas that have undergone social and political upheavals, where the traditional archives reflect the old regimes, particularly in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The third edition includes many more references to non-U.S. projects that will still be relevant to an American audience. These changes make the third edition of Doing Oral History an even more useful tool for beginners, teachers, archivists, and all those oral history managers who have inherited older collections that must be converted to the latest technology.

Boardwalk of Dreams

Atlantic City and the Fate of Urban America

Author: Bryant Simon

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780198037446

Category: History

Page: 304

View: 4195

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During the first half of the twentieth century, Atlantic City was the nation's most popular middle-class resort--the home of the famed Boardwalk, the Miss America Pageant, and the board game Monopoly. By the late 1960s, it had become a symbol of urban decay and blight, compared by journalists to bombed-out Dresden and war-torn Beirut. Several decades and a dozen casinos later, Atlantic City is again one of America's most popular tourist spots, with thirty-five million visitors a year. Yet most stay for a mere six hours, and the highway has replaced the Boardwalk as the city's most important thoroughfare. Today the city doesn't have a single movie theater and its one supermarket is a virtual fortress protected by metal detectors and security guards. In this wide-ranging book, Bryant Simon does far more than tell a nostalgic tale of Atlantic City's rise, near death, and reincarnation. He turns the depiction of middle-class vacationers into a revealing discussion of the boundaries of public space in urban America. In the past, he argues, the public was never really about democracy, but about exclusion. During Atlantic City's heyday, African Americans were kept off the Boardwalk and away from the beaches. The overly boisterous or improperly dressed were kept out of theaters and hotel lobbies by uniformed ushers and police. The creation of Atlantic City as the "Nation's Playground" was dependent on keeping undesirables out of view unless they were pushing tourists down the Boardwalk on rickshaw-like rolling chairs or shimmying in smoky nightclubs. Desegregation overturned this racial balance in the mid-1960s, making the city's public spaces more open and democratic, too open and democratic for many middle-class Americans, who fled to suburbs and suburban-style resorts like Disneyworld. With the opening of the first casino in 1978, the urban balance once again shifted, creating twelve separate, heavily guarded, glittering casinos worlds walled off from the dilapidated houses, boarded-up businesses, and lots razed for redevelopment that never came. Tourists are deliberately kept away from the city's grim reality and its predominantly poor African American residents. Despite ten of thousands of buses and cars rolling into every day, gambling has not saved Atlantic City or returned it to its glory days. Simon's moving narrative of Atlantic City's past points to the troubling fate of urban America and the nation's cultural trajectory in the twentieth century, with broad implications for those interested in urban studies, sociology, planning, architecture, and history.

Religion and Public Life in the South

In the Evangelical Mode

Author: Charles Reagan Wilson,Mark Silk

Publisher: Altamira Press

ISBN: 9780759106345

Category: Religion

Page: 224

View: 4301

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An overview of public religion in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and Tennessee.

The Double V

How Wars, Protest, and Harry Truman Desegregated America's Military

Author: Rawn James, Jr.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1608196224

Category: History

Page: 304

View: 5372

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The century-long struggle to achieve equality for America's black soldiers and sailors, in a stirring narrative history by the author of Root and Branch

The Jim Crow Routine

Everyday Performances of Race, Civil Rights, and Segregation in Mississippi

Author: Stephen A. Berrey

Publisher: UNC Press Books

ISBN: 1469620944

Category: Social Science

Page: 352

View: 389

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The South's system of Jim Crow racial oppression is usually understood in terms of legal segregation that mandated the separation of white and black Americans. Yet, as Stephen A. Berrey shows, it was also a high-stakes drama that played out in the routines of everyday life, where blacks and whites regularly interacted on sidewalks and buses and in businesses and homes. Every day, individuals made, unmade, and remade Jim Crow in how they played their racial roles--how they moved, talked, even gestured. The highly visible but often subtle nature of these interactions constituted the Jim Crow routine. In this study of Mississippi race relations in the final decades of the Jim Crow era, Berrey argues that daily interactions between blacks and whites are central to understanding segregation and the racial system that followed it. Berrey shows how civil rights activism, African Americans' refusal to follow the Jim Crow script, and national perceptions of southern race relations led Mississippi segregationists to change tactics. No longer able to rely on the earlier routines, whites turned instead to less visible but equally insidious practices of violence, surveillance, and policing, rooted in a racially coded language of law and order. Reflecting broader national transformations, these practices laid the groundwork for a new era marked by black criminalization, mass incarceration, and a growing police presence in everyday life.

Freedom on the Border

An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky

Author: Catherine Fosl

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

ISBN: 0813173639

Category: History

Page: 344

View: 6835

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Memories fade, witnesses pass away, and the stories of how social change took place are often lost. Many of those stories, however, have been preserved thanks to the dozens of civil rights activists across Kentucky who shared their memories in the wide-ranging oral history project from which this volume arose. Through their collective memories and the efforts of a new generation of historians, the stories behind the marches, vigils, court cases, and other struggles to overcome racial discrimination are finally being brought to light. In Freedom on the Border: An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky, Catherine Fosl and Tracy E. K’Meyer gather the voices of more than one hundred courageous crusaders for civil rights, many of whom have never before spoken publicly about their experiences. These activists hail from all over Kentucky, offering a wide representation of the state’s geography and culture while explaining the civil rights movement in their respective communities and in their own words. Grounded in oral history, this book offers new insights into the diverse experiences and ground-level perspectives of the activists. This approach often highlights the contradictions between the experiences of individual activists and commonly held beliefs about the larger movement. Interspersed among the chapters are in-depth profiles of activists such as Kentucky general assemblyman Jesse Crenshaw and Helen Fisher Frye, past president of the Danville NAACP. These activists describe the many challenges that Kentuckians faced during the civil rights movement, such as inequality in public accommodations, education, housing, and politics. By placing the narratives in the social context of state, regional, and national trends, Fosl and K’Meyer demonstrate how contemporary race relations in Kentucky are marked by many of the same barriers that African Americans faced before and during the civil rights movement. From city streets to mountain communities, in areas with black populations large and small, Kentucky’s civil rights movement was much more than a series of mass demonstrations, campaigns, and elite-level policy decisions. It was also the sum of countless individual struggles, including the mother who sent her child to an all-white school, the veteran who refused to give up when denied a job, and the volunteer election worker who decided to run for office herself. In vivid detail, Freedom on the Border brings this mosaic of experiences to life and presents a new, compelling picture of a vital and little-understood era in the history of Kentucky and the nation.

America, History and Life

Author: N.A

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Canada

Page: N.A

View: 6064

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Article abstracts and citations of reviews and dissertations covering the United States and Canada.

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

Author: Richard Rothstein

Publisher: Liveright Publishing

ISBN: 1631492861

Category: Social Science

Page: 336

View: 5134

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"Rothstein has presented what I consider to be the most forceful argument ever published on how federal, state, and local governments gave rise to and reinforced neighborhood segregation." —William Julius Wilson In this groundbreaking history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein, a leading authority on housing policy, explodes the myth that America’s cities came to be racially divided through de facto segregation—that is, through individual prejudices, income differences, or the actions of private institutions like banks and real estate agencies. Rather, The Color of Law incontrovertibly makes clear that it was de jure segregation—the laws and policy decisions passed by local, state, and federal governments—that actually promoted the discriminatory patterns that continue to this day. Through extraordinary revelations and extensive research that Ta-Nehisi Coates has lauded as "brilliant" (The Atlantic), Rothstein comes to chronicle nothing less than an untold story that begins in the 1920s, showing how this process of de jure segregation began with explicit racial zoning, as millions of African Americans moved in a great historical migration from the south to the north. As Jane Jacobs established in her classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities, it was the deeply flawed urban planning of the 1950s that created many of the impoverished neighborhoods we know. Now, Rothstein expands our understanding of this history, showing how government policies led to the creation of officially segregated public housing and the demolition of previously integrated neighborhoods. While urban areas rapidly deteriorated, the great American suburbanization of the post–World War II years was spurred on by federal subsidies for builders on the condition that no homes be sold to African Americans. Finally, Rothstein shows how police and prosecutors brutally upheld these standards by supporting violent resistance to black families in white neighborhoods. The Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibited future discrimination but did nothing to reverse residential patterns that had become deeply embedded. Yet recent outbursts of violence in cities like Baltimore, Ferguson, and Minneapolis show us precisely how the legacy of these earlier eras contributes to persistent racial unrest. “The American landscape will never look the same to readers of this important book” (Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund), as Rothstein’s invaluable examination shows that only by relearning this history can we finally pave the way for the nation to remedy its unconstitutional past.