Grassroots at the Gateway Class Politics and Black Freedom Struggle in St. Louis, 1936-75
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Description: Using the border state of Missouri as a case study,Grassroots at the Gatewayargues that the historical development of urban black working-class communities, cultures, and institutions propelled the major African American social movements in the period between the Great Depression and the end of the Great Society. Most studies of twentieth-century black social movements have emphasized the role played by middle-class professionals and organizations like the NAACP and the Urban League in advancing African American freedom and have focused on the southern states.Grassroots at the Gatewaybreaks new ground to reveal not only that the black working class was pivotal in the push for equality, justice, and respect but also that the fight for civil rights extended far beyond the South.The author has delved deeply into his subject, uncovering decades' worth of oral histories from black St. Louis, the papers of African American activist individuals and organizations, the archives of the black advocacy press, and even the records of St. Louis's economic power brokers whom local black freedom activists challenged. Clarence Lang undermines the notion that a unified "black community" fought for civil rights, demonstrating instead how black social movements of the working class were distinct from---and at times in conflict with---those of the middle class. This rich contribution to the growing and vibrant field of Black Freedom Studies charts the development of this race-class divide, offering an uncommon reading of not only the civil rights movement but also the emergence and consolidation of a black working class.Clarence Lang is Assistant Professor in African American Studies and History at the University of Illinois.
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List price: $29.95
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Publication date: 8/14/2009
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall