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A Movement Without Marches: African American Women and the Politics of Poverty in Postwar Philadelphia (The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture) Hardcover – April 30, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0807832721 ISBN-10: 0807832723 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; 1 edition (April 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807832723
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807832721
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,828,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"An important contribution to our understanding of the gendered construction of African American urban poverty."--Neue Politische Literatur

"An excellent local study….The narrative of self-empowerment and persistent agency that Levenstein constructs of poor African American women defying all stereotypes in the face of crippling hurdles does not disappoint."--The Journal of African A

"Is it possible to write about poor women as active agents without fitting them within a social movement framework? . . . Levenstein has already achieved that balance in this important work. . . . A full understanding of African American poverty must incl

"Excellent. . . . Levenstein becomes a skilled storyteller and weaves narratives from her oral histories throughout the book to support the detailed analysis. . . . Does not disappoint."--Journal of African American History

"A path-breaking account. . . . [Levenstein's] wide-ranging study of five public institutions suggests a pervasiveness, depth, and force of this phenomenon that historians have not recognized. The field of twentieth-century U.S. politics desperately needs

"Vivid stories of individual women. . . . Each one of them offers an original and compelling interpretation of its subject. Tightly interconnected as they are, each could also stand alone as a major addition to the historiography of public institutions."-

"Challenges scholarship on black urban poverty. . . . Instructive to students of urban history, migration, race, gender, and poverty."--The Journal of American History

"Levenstein's focus on the 1950s and 1960s serves to explore the roots of political and social activism embraced by so many younger black people in the subsequent decade. . . . Highly recommended."--Choice

Book Description

"A Movement Without Marches is a deeply humane account of poor women's struggles for dignity and survival. Lisa Levenstein combines history from the bottom up with an unparalleled account of the institutions, from courts to schools, that shaped and constrained black women's lives. Her book opens up new ways of thinking about the unfinished history of race, gender, and civil rights in modern America."--Thomas J. Sugrue, author of Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By LEON L CZIKOWSKY on March 17, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This presents valuable statistics and information regarding what African American faced during in mid 20th century Philadelphia. This focus on how African American females faced special issues enlightens readers to a better understanding of the times and how people were affected.

Readers and poverty reserachers will learn many informative facts. Among them are how many of the New Deal programs in Philadelphia involving welfare and public housing were used, in the 1950s and 1960s, by African Americna women. African American women were about 26% of Philadelphia's population in the early 1960s, yet they were over 85% of Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) recipients, over half of public housing tenants, public school students, Philadelphia General Hospital patients, and municipal court plaintiffs. There was no deliberate movement for African American women to obtain these benefits, even though the result was a mass movement of participation.

Much has been analyzed about the high unemployment and economic disparity that African Amercan males experienced. African American women experienced both racial and gender discrimination . In addition, they had higher rates of domestic violence victimization, health problems at younger ages, and child care issues.

The public programs did not allow most African American women to escape poverty. Thus, these programs both helped them while continuing their humiliation of remaining in poverty.

In 1945, the population of Philadelphia was 15% foreign born and 13% African American. In 1960, it was 9% foreign born and 26% African American.

In Philadelphia in 1960, the unemployment rate for African Americans was 11% and for whites was 5%.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sudie D. Sides on April 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book, although scholarly, is a wonderful read. It mixes thorough scholarship with compassion and the result is a book which gives the reader enormous information about urban development after World War II. It deals with poverty, discrimination and, above all, the hope of those who are trying to resist it.
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