Unjust Deeds

The Restrictive Covenant Cases and the Making of the Civil Rights Movement

Author: Jeffrey D. Gonda

Publisher: UNC Press Books

ISBN: 1469625466

Category: Social Science

Page: 312

View: 1456

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In 1945, six African American families from St. Louis, Detroit, and Washington, D.C., began a desperate fight to keep their homes. Each of them had purchased a property that prohibited the occupancy of African Americans and other minority groups through the use of legal instruments called racial restrictive covenants--one of the most pervasive tools of residential segregation in the aftermath of World War II. Over the next three years, local activists and lawyers at the NAACP fought through the nation's courts to end the enforcement of these discriminatory contracts. Unjust Deeds explores the origins and complex legacies of their dramatic campaign, culminating in a landmark Supreme Court victory in Shelley v. Kraemer (1948). Restoring this story to its proper place in the history of the black freedom struggle, Jeffrey D. Gonda's groundbreaking study provides a critical vantage point to the simultaneously personal, local, and national dimensions of legal activism in the twentieth century and offers a new understanding of the evolving legal fight against Jim Crow in neighborhoods and courtrooms across America.
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The Ghetto in Global History

1500 to the Present

Author: Wendy Z. Goldman,Joe William Trotter, Jr.

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351584103

Category: History

Page: 360

View: 9230

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The Ghetto in Global History explores the stubborn tenacity of ‘the ghetto’ over time. As a concept, policy, and experience, the ghetto has served to maintain social, religious, and racial hierarchies over the past five centuries. Transnational in scope, this book allows readers to draw thought-provoking comparisons across time and space among ghettos that are not usually studied alongside one another. The volume is structured around four main case studies, covering the first ghettos created for Jews in early modern Europe, the Nazis' use of ghettos, the enclosure of African Americans in segregated areas in the United States, and the extreme segregation of blacks in South Africa. The contributors explore issues of discourse, power, and control; examine the internal structures of authority that prevailed; and document the lived experiences of ghetto inhabitants. By discussing ghettos as both tools of control and as sites of resistance, this book offers an unprecedented and fascinating range of interpretations of the meanings of the "ghetto" throughout history. It allows us to trace the circulation of the idea and practice over time and across continents, revealing new linkages between widely disparate settings. Geographically and chronologically wide-ranging, The Ghetto in Global History will prove indispensable reading for all those interested in the history of spatial segregation, power dynamics, and racial and religious relations across the globe.
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Occupied Territory

Policing Black Chicago from Red Summer to Black Power

Author: Simon Balto

Publisher: UNC Press Books

ISBN: 1469649608

Category: Social Science

Page: 360

View: 9811

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In July 1919, an explosive race riot forever changed Chicago. For years, black southerners had been leaving the South as part of the Great Migration. Their arrival in Chicago drew the ire and scorn of many local whites, including members of the city's political leadership and police department, who generally sympathized with white Chicagoans and viewed black migrants as a problem population. During Chicago's Red Summer riot, patterns of extraordinary brutality, negligence, and discriminatory policing emerged to shocking effect. Those patterns shifted in subsequent decades, but the overall realities of a racially discriminatory police system persisted. In this history of Chicago from 1919 to the rise and fall of Black Power in the 1960s and 1970s, Simon Balto narrates the evolution of racially repressive policing in black neighborhoods as well as how black citizen-activists challenged that repression. Balto demonstrates that punitive practices by and inadequate protection from the police were central to black Chicagoans' lives long before the late-century "wars" on crime and drugs. By exploring the deeper origins of this toxic system, Balto reveals how modern mass incarceration, built upon racialized police practices, emerged as a fully formed machine of profoundly antiblack subjugation.
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Gateway to Equality

Black Women and the Struggle for Economic Justice in St. Louis

Author: Keona K. Ervin

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

ISBN: 0813169879

Category: Political Science

Page: 294

View: 6627

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Like most of the nation during the 1930s, St. Louis, Missouri, was caught in the stifling grip of the Great Depression. For the next thirty years, the "Gateway City" continued to experience significant urban decline as its population swelled and the area's industries stagnated. Over these decades, many African American citizens in the region found themselves struggling financially and fighting for access to profitable jobs and suitable working conditions. To combat ingrained racism, crippling levels of poverty, and sub-standard living conditions, black women worked together to form a community-based culture of resistance -- fighting for employment, a living wage, dignity, representation, and political leadership. Gateway to Equality investigates black working-class women's struggle for economic justice from the rise of New Deal liberalism in the 1930s to the social upheavals of the 1960s. Author Keona K. Ervin explains that the conditions in twentieth-century St. Louis were uniquely conducive to the rise of this movement since the city's economy was based on light industries that employed women, such as textiles and food processing. As part of the Great Migration, black women migrated to the city at a higher rate than their male counterparts, and labor and black freedom movements relied less on a charismatic, male leadership model. This made it possible for women to emerge as visible and influential leaders in both formal and informal capacities. In this impressive study, Ervin presents a stunning account of the ways in which black working-class women creatively fused racial and economic justice. By illustrating that their politics played an important role in defining urban political agendas, her work sheds light on an unexplored aspect of community activism and illuminates the complexities of the overlapping civil rights and labor movements during the first half of the twentieth century.
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