How Long? how Long?: African American Women in the Struggle for Civil Rights / Edition 1

How Long? how Long?: African American Women in the Struggle for Civil Rights / Edition 1

by Belinda Robnett
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0195114906

ISBN-13: 9780195114904

Pub. Date: 08/28/1997

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

A compelling and readable narrative history, How Long? How Long? presents both a rethinking of social movement theory and a controversial thesis: that chroniclers have egregiously neglected the most important leaders of the Civil Rights movement, African-American women, in favor of higher-profile African-American men and white women. Author Belinda Robnett

Overview

A compelling and readable narrative history, How Long? How Long? presents both a rethinking of social movement theory and a controversial thesis: that chroniclers have egregiously neglected the most important leaders of the Civil Rights movement, African-American women, in favor of higher-profile African-American men and white women. Author Belinda Robnett argues that the diversity of experiences of the African-American women organizers has been underemphasized in favor of monolithic treatments of their femaleness and blackness.

Drawing heavily on interviews with actual participants in the American Civil Rights movement, this work retells the movement as seen through the eyes and spoken through the voices of African-American women participants. It is the first book to provide an analysis of race, class, gender, and culture as substructures that shaped the organization and outcome of the movement. Robnett examines the differences among women participants in the movement and offers the first cohesive analysis of the gendered relations and interactions among its black activists, thus demonstrating that femaleness and blackness cannot be viewed as sufficient signifiers for movement experience and individual identity. Finally, this book makes a significant contribution to social movement theory by providing a crucial understanding of the continuity and complexity of social movements, clarifying the need for different layers of leadership that come to satisfy different movement needs.

An engaging narrative history as well as a major contribution to social movement and feminist theory, How Long? How Long? will appeal to students and scholars of social activism, women's studies, American history, and African-American studies, and to general readers interested in the perennially fascinating story of the American Civil Rights movement.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195114904
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
08/28/1997
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.38(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.86(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction3
1Rethinking Social Movement Theory: Race, Class, Gender, and Culture12
Social Location and Identity15
Reconceptualizing Leadership17
Defining Bridge Leadership19
The Movement Sector: Centralized Power, Primary and Secondary Formal Organizations, and Bridge Organizations23
Social Movement Theories26
Bridge Leaders, Formal Leaders, and the State26
Charismatic Leadership and Emotion28
Social Movement Literature: Emotion and Spontaneity32
Conclusion34
2Exclusion, Empowerment, and Partnership: Race Gender Relations36
Black Women Activists Speak Out: Empowered, Not Oppressed36
Black Women in Support of Male Leadership41
A Glimpse into Black Women's Historic Activism44
Mary McLeod Bethune and the National Association of Colored Women45
Mary McLeod Bethune, the Roosevelt Administration, and A. Philip Randolph46
The Rise of Nonviolent Resistance49
Conclusion51
3Women and the Escalation of the Civil Rights Movement53
Early Resistance to Segregated Transportation53
The Women's Political Council of Montgomery55
The Formation of the Montgomery Improvement Association62
Conclusion68
4Sustaining the Momentum of the Movement71
Miss Ella Baker and the Origins of the SCLC71
The Movement Gains Momentum76
Conclusion83
5Sowing the Seeds of Mass Mobilization86
The Roots of Micromobilization86
Connecting Prefigurative Politics to Strategic Politics90
Bridge Leaders, Gender, and the SCLC93
Conclusion96
6Bridging Students to the Movement98
Community Bridge Leaders as Temporary Formal Leaders103
Community Bridge Leaders as Secondary Formal Leaders107
Women, Power, and Titled Positions109
Women Bridge Leaders and Their Heroines111
Conclusion113
7Race, Class, and Culture Matter115
Interpersonal Relationships in SNCC118
Race, Class, Gender, and Culture in SNCC122
Dispelling Sexual Myths133
Conclusion137
8Bringing the Movement Home to Small Cities and Rural Communities140
Local Women's Activism Despite Minister Opposition140
Indigenous Bridge Leaders: Links Between Community and Organization143
Women and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party150
Economic and Physical Reprisals153
Conclusion156
9Cooperation and Conflict in the Civil Rights Movement157
Women as Primary Formal Leaders157
Fannie Lou Hamer and the MFDP157

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