• Winner of the 2014 Anna Julia Cooper-CLR James Book Award presented by the National Council of Black StudiesWinner of the 2014 PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in LiteratureIn We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement, Akinyele Omowale Umoja argues that armed resistance was critical to the Southern freedom struggle and the dismantling of segregation and Black disenfranchisement. Intimidation and fear were central to the system of oppression in most of the Deep South. To overcome the system of segregation, Black people had to overcome fear to present a significant challenge to White domination. As the civil rights movement developed, armed self-defense and resistance became a significant means by which the descendants of enslaved Africans overturned fear and intimidation and developed different political and social relationships between Black and White Mississippians.This riveting historical narrative reconstructs the armed resistance of Black activists, their challenge of racist terrorism, and their fight for human rights.
  • 2014 NAACP Image Award Winner: Outstanding Literary Work–Biography/Autobiography   2013 Letitia Woods Brown Award from the Association of Black Women HistoriansChoice Top 25 Academic Titles for 2013The definitive political biography of Rosa Parks examines her six decades of activism, challenging perceptions of her as an accidental actor in the civil rights movement.This revised edition includes a new introduction by the author, who reflects on materials in the Rosa Parks estate, purchased by Howard Buffett in 2014 and opened to the public at the Library of Congress in February 2015. Theoharis contextualizes this rich material—made available to the public for the very first time and including more than seven thousand documents—and deepens our understanding of Parks’s personal, financial, and political struggles.Presenting a powerful corrective to the popular iconography of Rosa Parks as the quiet seamstress who with a single act birthed the modern civil rights movement, scholar Jeanne Theoharis excavates Parks’s political philosophy and six decades of activism. Theoharis masterfully details the political depth of a national heroine who dedicated her life to fighting American inequality and, in the process, resurrects a civil rights movement radical who has been hidden in plain sight far too long.
  • An intersectional history of the shared struggle for African American and Latinx civil rightsSpanning more than two hundred years, An African American and Latinx History of the United States is a revolutionary, politically charged narrative history, arguing that the “Global South” was crucial to the development of America as we know it. Scholar and activist Paul Ortiz challenges the notion of westward progress as exalted by widely taught formulations like “manifest destiny” and “Jacksonian democracy,” and shows how placing African American, Latinx, and Indigenous voices unapologetically front and center transforms US history into one of the working class organizing against imperialism.Drawing on rich narratives and primary source documents, Ortiz links racial segregation in the Southwest and the rise and violent fall of a powerful tradition of Mexican labor organizing in the twentieth century, to May 1, 2006, known as International Workers’ Day, when migrant laborers—Chicana/os, Afrocubanos, and immigrants from every continent on earth—united in resistance on the first “Day Without Immigrants.” As African American civil rights activists fought Jim Crow laws and Mexican labor organizers warred against the suffocating grip of capitalism, Black and Spanish-language newspapers, abolitionists, and Latin American revolutionaries coalesced around movements built between people from the United States and people from Central America and the Caribbean. In stark contrast to the resurgence of “America First” rhetoric, Black and Latinx intellectuals and organizers today have historically urged the United States to build bridges of solidarity with the nations of the Americas.Incisive and timely, this bottom-up history, told from the interconnected vantage points of Latinx and African Americans, reveals the radically different ways that people of the diaspora have addressed issues still plaguing the United States today, and it offers a way forward in the continued struggle for universal civil rights.2018 Winner of the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award
  • This momentous work offers a groundbreaking history of the early civil rights movement in the South with new material that situates the book in the context of subsequent movement literature.
  • Over the last several years, the traditional narrative of the civil rights movement as largely a southern phenomenon, organized primarily by male leaders, that roughly began with the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and ended with the Voting Rights Act of 1965, has been complicated by studies that root the movement in smaller communities across the country. These local movements had varying agendas and organizational development, geared to the particular circumstances, resources, and regions in which they operated. Local civil rights activists frequently worked in tandem with the national civil rights movement but often functioned autonomously from—and sometimes even at odds with—the national movement.Together, the pathbreaking essays in Groundwork teach us that local civil rights activity was a vibrant component of the larger civil rights movement, and contributed greatly to its national successes. Individually, the pieces offer dramatic new insights about the civil rights movement, such as the fact that a militant black youth organization in Milwaukee was led by a white Catholic priest and in Cambridge, Maryland, by a middle-aged black woman; that a group of middle-class, professional black women spearheaded Jackson, Mississippi's movement for racial justice and made possible the continuation of the Freedom Rides, and that, despite protests from national headquarters, the Brooklyn chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality staged a dramatic act of civil disobedience at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York.No previous volume has enabled readers to examine several different local movements together, and in so doing, Groundwork forges a far more comprehensive vision of the black freedom movement.
  • "Once in a while a book comes along that projects the spirit of an era; this is one of them . . . Vibrant and expressive . . . A well-researched and well-written work." ―The Philadelphia InquirerWith the rallying cry of "Black Power!" in 1966, a group of black activists, including Stokely Carmichael and Huey P. Newton, turned their backs on Martin Luther King's pacifism and, building on Malcolm X's legacy, pioneered a radical new approach to the fight for equality. Drawing on original archival research and more than sixty original oral histories, Peniel E. Joseph vividly invokes the way in which Black Power redefined black identity and culture and in the process redrew the landscape of American race relations. In a series of character-driven chapters, we witness the rise of Black Power groups such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Black Panthers, and with them, on both coasts of the country, a fundamental change in the way Americans understood the unfinished business of racial equality and integration. Waiting 'Til the Midnight Hour traces the history of the Black Power movement, that storied group of men and women who would become American icons of the struggle for racial equality.
  • Two revolutions roiled the rural South after the mid-1960s: the political revolution wrought by the passage of civil rights legislation, and the ongoing economic revolution brought about by increasing agricultural mechanization. Political empowerment for black southerners coincided with the transformation of southern agriculture and the displacement of thousands of former sharecroppers from the land. Focusing on the plantation regions of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi, Greta de Jong analyzes how social justice activists responded to mass unemployment by lobbying political leaders, initiating antipoverty projects, and forming cooperative enterprises that fostered economic and political autonomy, efforts that encountered strong opposition from free market proponents who opposed government action to solve the crisis.Making clear the relationship between the civil rights movement and the War on Poverty, this history of rural organizing shows how responses to labor displacement in the South shaped the experiences of other Americans who were affected by mass layoffs in the late twentieth century, shedding light on a debate that continues to reverberate today.
  • How do social movements die? Some explanations highlight internal factors like factionalization, whereas others stress external factors like repression. Christian Davenport offers an alternative explanation where both factors interact. Drawing on organizational, as well as individual-level, explanations, Davenport argues that social movement death is the outgrowth of a coevolutionary dynamic whereby challengers, influenced by their understanding of what states will do to oppose them, attempt to recruit, motivate, calm, and prepare constituents while governments attempt to hinder all of these processes at the same time. Davenport employs a previously unavailable database that contains information on a black nationalist/secessionist organization, the Republic of New Africa, and the activities of authorities in the U.S. city of Detroit and state and federal authorities.
  • On March 31, 1968, over 500 Black nationalists convened in Detroit to begin the process of securing independence from the United States. Many concluded that Black Americans' best remaining hope for liberation was the creation of a sovereign nation-state, the Republic of New Afrika (RNA). New Afrikan citizens traced boundaries that encompassed a large portion of the South--including South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana--as part of their demand for reparation. As champions of these goals, they framed their struggle as one that would allow the descendants of enslaved people to choose freely whether they should be citizens of the United States. New Afrikans also argued for financial restitution for the enslavement and subsequent inhumane treatment of Black Americans. The struggle to "Free the Land" remains active to this day. This book is the first to tell the full history of the RNA and the New Afrikan Independence Movement. Edward Onaci shows how New Afrikans remade their lifestyles and daily activities to create a self-consciously revolutionary culture, and argues that the RNA's tactics and ideology were essential to the evolution of Black political struggles. Onaci expands the story of Black Power politics, shedding new light on the long-term legacies of mid-century Black Nationalism.
  • Traces the meaning, artistry, and functions of the vernacular gardens produced in history and currently by some Black families in three selected regions of the South
  • In his seminal study of convict leasing in the post-Civil War South, Matthew J. Mancini chronicles one of the harshest, most exploitative labor systems in American history. Devastated by war, bewildered by peace, and unprepared to confront the problems of prison management, Southern states sought to alleviate the need for cheap labor, a perceived rise in criminal behavior, and the bankruptcy of their state treasuries. Mancini describes the policy of leasing prisoners to individuals and corporations as one that, in addition to reducing prison populations and generating revenues, offered a means of racial subordination and labor discipline. He identifies commonalities that, despite the seemingly uneven enforcement of convict leasing across state lines, bound the South together for more than half a century in reliance on an institution of almost unrelieved brutality. He describes the prisoners' daily existence, profiles the individuals who leased convicts, and reveals both the inhumanity of the leasing laws and the centrality of race relations in the establishment and perpetuation of convict leasing. In considering the longevity of the practice, Mancini takes issue with the widespread notion that convict leasing was an aberration in a generally progressive history of criminal justice. In explaining its dramatic demise, Mancini contends that moral opposition was a distinctly minor force in the abolition of the practice and that only a combination of rising lease prices and years of economic decline forced an end to convict leasing in the South.
  • “The Lake Apopka survivors are claiming justice, and their plight, long-time forgotten, is beginning to resonate across international borders.”—Chela Vazquez, Campaign Coordinator, Pesticide Action Network North America “Slongwhite’s modern tragedy reflects the increasing power of the Big Food corporations’ influence in D.C.—and why something this unimaginable, passing from one generation to the next—can take place. Testimony like this belongs in the Federal Register.”—Theo Colborn, president, TEDX (The Endocrine Disruption Exchange) “Poignant, gut-wrenching, and real, this book should be required reading for everyone who eats.”—Barry Estabrook, author of Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit “Presents compelling and heart-wrenching stories about profound social and environmental injustices. Yet these are also stories about strength, survival, and the victory of the human spirit.”—Joan Flocks, director, Social Policy Division at the Center for Governmental Responsibility, Levin College of Law, University of Florida        One farmworker tells of the soil that would “bite” him, but that was the chemicals burning his skin. Other laborers developed blindness, lupus, asthma, diabetes, kidney failure, or suffered myriad symptoms with no clear diagnosis. Some miscarried or had children with genetic defects while others developed cancer.In Fed Up, Dale Slongwhite collects the nearly inconceivable and chilling oral histories of African American farmworkers whose lives, and those of their families, were forever altered by one of the most disturbing pesticide exposure incidents in United States’ history.For decades, the farms around Lake Apopka, Florida’s third largest lake, were sprayed with chemicals ranging from the now-banned DDT to toxaphene. Among the most productive farmlands in America, the fields were repeatedly covered with organochlorine pesticides, also known as persistent organic pollutants. The once-clear waters of the lake turned pea green from decades of pesticide-related run-off. Research proved that birds, alligators, and fish were all harmed. And still the farmworkers planted, harvested, packed, and shipped produce all over the country, enduring scorching sun, snakes, rats, injuries, substandard housing, and low wages. All the while, endocrine-disruptor chemicals were dropped over their heads by crop dusters as they labored in the poison-saturated fields.           Eventually, state and federal dollars were allocated to buy out and close farms to attempt land restoration, water clean up, and wildlife protection. But the farmworkers became statistics—nameless casualties history almost forgot. Here are their stories, told in their own words.
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