Battling the Plantation Mentality: Memphis and the Black Freedom Struggle / Edition 1

Battling the Plantation Mentality: Memphis and the Black Freedom Struggle / Edition 1

by Laurie B. Green
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0807858021

ISBN-13: 9780807858028

Pub. Date: 05/28/2007

Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press

African American freedom is often defined in terms of emancipation and civil rights legislation, but it did not arrive with the stroke of a pen or the rap of a gavel. No single event makes this more plain, Laurie Green argues, than the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers' strike, which culminated in the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Exploring the notion of

Overview

African American freedom is often defined in terms of emancipation and civil rights legislation, but it did not arrive with the stroke of a pen or the rap of a gavel. No single event makes this more plain, Laurie Green argues, than the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers' strike, which culminated in the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Exploring the notion of "freedom" in postwar Memphis, Green demonstrates that the civil rights movement was battling an ongoing "plantation mentality" based on race, gender, and power that permeated southern culture long before—and even after—the groundbreaking legislation of the mid-1960s.

With its slogan "I AM a Man!" the Memphis strike provides a clarion example of how the movement fought for a black freedom that consisted of not only constitutional rights but also social and human rights. As the sharecropping system crumbled and migrants streamed to the cities during and after World War II, the struggle for black freedom touched all aspects of daily life. Green traces the movement to new locations, from protests against police brutality and racist movie censorship policies to innovations in mass culture, such as black-oriented radio stations. Incorporating scores of oral histories, Green demonstrates that the interplay of politics, culture, and consciousness is critical to truly understanding freedom and the black struggle for it.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807858028
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
05/28/2007
Series:
The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture
Edition description:
1
Pages:
432
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction Migration, Memory, and Freedom in the Urban Heart of the Delta..................................................1
1 Memphis before World War II Migrants, Mushroom Strikes, and the Reign of Terror............................................15
2 Where Would the Negro Women Apply for Work? Wartime Clashes over Labor, Gender, and Racial Justice.........................47
3 Moral Outrage Postwar Protest against Police Violence and Sexual Assault...................................................81
4 Night Train, Freedom Train Black Youth and Racial Politics in the Early Cold War...........................................112
5 Our Mental Liberties Banned Movies, Black-Appeal Radio, and the Struggle for a New Public Sphere...........................142
6 Rejecting Mammy The Urban-Rural Road in the Era of Brown v. Board of Education.............................................183
7 We Were Making History Students, Sharecroppers, and Sanitation Workers in the Memphis Freedom Movement.....................216
8 Battling the Plantation Mentality From the Civil Rights Act to the SanitationStrike.......................................251
Conclusion....................................................................................................................288
Notes.........................................................................................................................295
Bibliography..................................................................................................................359
Acknowledgments...............................................................................................................381
Index.........................................................................................................................387

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