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Race Rebels : Culture, Politics, and the Black Working Class Paperback – June 1, 1996
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
During his tenure on the faculties of Emory University, the University of Michigan, New York University, and Columbia University, Kelley's scholarly interests shifted increasingly toward music. He has written widely on jazz, hip hop, electronic music, musicians' unions and technological displacement, and social and political movements more broadly.
Before becoming Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, Robin D. G. Kelley served on the faculty at Columbia University's Center for Jazz Studies, where he held the first Louis Armstrong Chair in Jazz Studies. Besides Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original, Kelley has authored several prize-winning books, including Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists During the Great Depression (University of North Carolina Press, 1990); Race Rebels: Culture Politics and the Black Working Class (The Free Press, 1994); Yo' Mama's DisFunktional!: Fighting the Culture Wars in Urban America (Beacon Press, 1997), which was selected one of the top ten books of 1998 by the Village Voice. He is currently completing Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times (Harvard University Press, forthcoming 2011), and a general survey of African American history co-authored with Tera Hunter and Earl Lewis to be published by Norton.
Kelley's essays have appeared in several anthologies and journals, including The Nation, Monthly Review, The Voice Literary Supplement, New York Times (Arts and Leisure), New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, Color Lines, Code Magazine, Utne Reader, Lenox Avenue, African Studies Review, Black Music Research Journal, Callaloo, New Politics, Black Renaissance/Renaissance Noir, One World, Social Text, Metropolis, American Visions, Boston Review, Fashion Theory, American Historical Review, Journal of American History, New Labor Forum, Souls, Metropolis, and frieze: contemporary art and culture, to name a few.
Top Customer Reviews
The influence of Marxist thought on some Negro activists is shown. To the extent that the American Communist Party received significant membership from Negroes. At the time, it was one of the few relatively colour-blind organisations. Of course, this very fact was used against the Communists and Negro activists by segregationists.
The book has numerous nuggets of history that might have often been omitted from other texts. Thus, you may well have heard of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, which fought for the Spanish Republic during its civil war. But did you know that in that brigade were over 70 Negroes? Who saw the war as an extension of a war on racism and poverty, in Africa and the US. Kelley shows gives us their motivations and how they fared.
This is not to say it's a bad book. It's a book that serves a function, fills a niche. Kelley writes as an academic (professor of history and Africana studies at NYU at the time of publication, now professor of American studies and ethnicity and history at USC), so the book is heavy on documentation and light on readability. (For 227 pages of text, there are 65 pages of end notes, a 37 page bibliography, and a 15 page index. But who's counting.) With that tone and purpose in mind, the reader can still glean an interesting take on civil rights and black history in the U.S.
In a relatively small space, Kelley covers a lot of ground. I enjoyed his recounting of, in a sense, the underbelly of the civil rights movement. We all know about Martin Luther King, the march on Washington, and the high-profile civil rights leaders. Kelley reveals the under-the-radar civil rights movement. Many workers, whether domestics, dock workers, field workers, etc., performed their own small acts of workplace rebellion, including industrial sabotage, workplace theft, and simple loafing. By doing so, they claimed ownership of their own time and persons, rejecting the role of slave.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book has a really good information about African American history.Published 9 months ago by Raveena Singh