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Death Blow to Jim Crow: The National Negro Congress and the Rise of Militant Civil Rights
     

Death Blow to Jim Crow: The National Negro Congress and the Rise of Militant Civil Rights

4.3 3
by Erik S. Gellman
 

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During the Great Depression, black intellectuals, labor organizers, and artists formed the National Negro Congress (NNC) to demand a "second emancipation" in America. Over the next decade, the NNC and its offshoot, the Southern Negro Youth Congress, sought to coordinate and catalyze local antiracist activism into a national movement to undermine the Jim Crow system

Overview

During the Great Depression, black intellectuals, labor organizers, and artists formed the National Negro Congress (NNC) to demand a "second emancipation" in America. Over the next decade, the NNC and its offshoot, the Southern Negro Youth Congress, sought to coordinate and catalyze local antiracist activism into a national movement to undermine the Jim Crow system of racial and economic exploitation. In this pioneering study, Erik S. Gellman shows how the NNC agitated for the first-class citizenship of African Americans and all members of the working class, establishing civil rights as necessary for reinvigorating American democracy.
Much more than just a precursor to the 1960s civil rights movement, this activism created the most militant interracial freedom movement since Reconstruction, one that sought to empower the American labor movement to make demands on industrialists, white supremacists, and the state as never before. By focusing on the complex alliances between unions, civic groups, and the Communist Party in five geographic regions, Gellman explains how the NNC and its allies developed and implemented creative grassroots strategies to weaken Jim Crow, if not deal it the "death blow" they sought.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A wonderful book, full of social history that has remained little examined through nearly all the fine (and sometimes mediocre) scholarship on African American life published in the last thirty years. It may also represent a new phase of serious scholarship in the twentieth-century American history at large."
-Journal of Illinois History

"A must-read for everyone interested in understanding the grassroots, populist nature of the long civil rights movement."
-Journal of American History

"[Gellman's] writing style is clear as he sets out for the reader exactly what he intends to accomplish in every chapter. . . . Packed with gems."
-North Carolina Historical Review

"This is a wonderful book, full of social history that has remained little examined. . . . and is likely to prompt a new look at the labor movement, Southern liberal politics, and a range of remarkable personalities once influential then quickly forgotten."
-Paul Buhle, Journal of Illinois History

"By offering the first comprehensive study of the NNC and its allies, Gellman reveals how militant civil rights activists of the 1930s and 1940s fought to expand the concept of American democracy by initiating a number of grassroots protest movements aimed at overturning Jim Crow."
-Journal of American History

"This book immeasurably strengthens our understanding of the 'long civil rights movement,' starting it decisively in the 1930s as labor's left in the Popular Front and a broad-based movement in the African American community fought to overthrow Jim Crow and organize workers. It is a spectacular addition to the literature on civil rights unionism and African-American history."—Michael Honey, University of Washington, Tacoma, author of Going Down Jericho Road: The Memphis Strike, King's Last Campaign

"Erik S. Gellman's Death Blow to Jim Crow breaks new ground and enriches our understanding of the militant, radical, antiracism reformers who founded and nurtured the National Negro Congress and its affiliate, the Southern Negro Youth Congress, during the 1930s and 1940s. This perceptive and persuasive, beautifully written and meticulously researched history situates leaders of the NNC as critical architects of an intricate web of interracial unions, multi-ethnic coalitions, and cross-class alliances committed to the demolition of all forms of Jim Crow in the North and in the South. Death Blow to Jim Crow is essential reading for those seeking deeper insights into the explosive and transformative era that ushered in the modern freedom movement."—Darlene Clark Hine, Northwestern University

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807835319
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
02/01/2012
Series:
The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture
Edition description:
1
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.30(d)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
Erik S. Gellman's Death Blow to Jim Crow breaks new ground and enriches our understanding of the militant, radical, antiracism reformers who founded and nurtured the National Negro Congress and its affiliate, the Southern Negro Youth Congress, during the 1930s and 1940s. This perceptive and persuasive, beautifully written and meticulously researched history situates leaders of the NNC as critical architects of an intricate web of interracial unions, multi-ethnic coalitions, and cross-class alliances committed to the demolition of all forms of Jim Crow in the North and in the South. Death Blow to Jim Crow is essential reading for those seeking deeper insights into the explosive and transformative era that ushered in the modern freedom movement.--Darlene Clark Hine, Northwestern University

Meet the Author

Erik S. Gellman is assistant professor of history at Roosevelt University.

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Death Blow to Jim Crow: The National Negro Congress and the Rise of Militant Civil Rights 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Honey Erik my nook is down imma get a new one soon love u bye
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok