Defying Dixie: The Radical Roots of Civil Rights, 1919-1950

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W. W. Norton & Company, 2008 - History - 642 pages
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The civil rights movement that loomed over the 1950s and 1960s was the tip of an iceberg, the legal and political remnant of a broad, raucous, deeply American movement for social justice that flourished from the 1920s through the 1940s. This contentious mix of home-grown radicals, labor activists, newspaper editors, black workers, and intellectuals employed every strategy imaginable to take Dixie down, from a ludicrous attempt to organize black workers with a stage production of Pushkin—in Russian—to the courageous fight of striking workers against police and corporate violence in Gastonia in 1929. In a dramatic narrative Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore deftly shows how the movement unfolded against national and global developments, gaining focus and finally arriving at a narrow but effective legal strategy for securing desegregation and political rights. Little-known heroes abound in a book that will recast our understanding of the most important social movement in twentieth-century America.

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Contents

List of Illustrations
xi
Sunset in Dixie
1
Jim Crow Meets Karl Marx
15
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore is the Peter V. and C. Vann Woodward Professor of History, African American Studies, and American Studies at Yale University. Her research interests include twentieth-century U.S. history; African American history since 1865; U.S. women's and gender history since 1865; history of the American South; and reform movements. Her publications include Norton’s Defying Dixie: The Radical Roots of Civil Rights, 1919-1950, which was one of the American Library Association’s Notable Books and the Washington Post’s Best Books of 2008, and she edited Who Were the Progressives? and co-edited Jumpin’ Jim Crow: Southern Politics from Civil War to Civil Rights. Her first book, Gender and Jim Crow: Women and the Politics of White Supremacy in North Carolina, 1896-1920, won the Frederick Jackson Turner Award, the James A. Rawley Prize, the Julia Cherry Spruill Prize, and the Heyman Prize.

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