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New York University Press

Time Longer Than Rope: A Century of African American Activism, 1850-1950

Time Longer Than Rope: A Century of African American Activism, 1850-1950

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The story of the civil rights movement is well-known, popularized by both the media and the academy. Yet the version of the story recounted time and again by both history books and PBS documentaries is a simplified one, reduced to an inspirational but ultimately facile narrative framed around Dr. King, the Kennedys, and the redemptive days of Montgomery and Memphis, in which black individuals become the rescued survivors. This story renders the mass of black people invisible, refusing to take seriously everyday people whose years of persistent struggle often made the big events possible.
Time Longer than Rope unearths the ordinary roots of extraordinary change, demonstrating the depth and breadth of black oppositional spirit and activity that preceded the civil rights movement. The diversity of activism covered by this collection extends from tenant farmers' labor reform campaign in the 1919 Elaine, Arkansas massacre to Harry T. Moore's leadership of a movement that registered 100,000 black Floridians years before Montgomery, and from women's participation in the Garvey movement to the changing meaning of the Lincoln Memorial. Concentrating on activist efforts in the South, key themes emerge, including the under appreciated importance of historical memory and community building, the divisive impact of class and sexism, and the shifting interplay between individual initiative and structural constraints.
More than simply illuminating a hitherto marginalized fragment of American history, Time Longer than Rope provides a crucial pre-history of the modern civil rights movement. In the process, it alters our entire understanding of African American activism and the very meaning of "civil rights."



Author: Charles M. Payne
Publisher: New York University Press
Published: 08/01/2003
Pages: 584
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 1.86lbs
Size: 9.00h x 5.88w x 1.08d
ISBN: 9780814767030

About the Author
Payne, Charles M.: - Charles M. Payne is Sally Dalton Robinson Professor of African American studies, History and Sociology at Duke University. He is the author of the prize-winning I've Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition in the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement.Green, Adam: - Adam Green is Assistant Professor of History and American Studies at New York University.

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