Kelley (Hammer and Hoe), who teaches Afro-American and African Studies at the University of Michigan, here adapts several of his previously published articles into a loosely linked study describing black working-class resistance outside traditional organizations and political movements. Studying complaints and protests by blacks on Birmingham streetcars and buses during WWII, Kelley discerns a collective effort to gain power over an institution on which they depended. Blacks who joined the Communist Party during the 1920s and '30s, he shows, helped infuse their culture into American communism. Though Malcolm X dismissed his youthful years as self-degrading, Kelley argues that part of Malcolm X's enduring appeal depended on the style he picked up from the 1940s hipster, zoot suit culture. And in an analysis of present-day "gangsta rap," Kelley describes how the music has become cartoonish and critics more sweeping in their dismissal, while the underlying conditions that spawned rap remain unchanged. Kelley's close analyses appropriately reject "formulaic interpretations," as he states, but this book is mainly for students and scholars.
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Kelley is a professor of Afro-American and African studies and author of Hammer and Hoe (1990), a look at African Americans and the Communist Party in Alabama during the Great Depression. Here he offers a bold premise that is bound to provoke controversy and comment. Kelley suggests that foot dragging, sabotage, workplace theft, absenteeism, cursing, graffiti, joking, playing "unauthorized" music, and dress-code violations are subtle and not-so-subtle but conscious acts of rebellion and resistance among a black working class that does not feel a part of "mainstream" civil rights and labor movements. His "history from below" attempts to show "how fundamental race is for understanding American culture and politics" as he analyzes cultural, social, and political phenomena as diverse as the African American volunteer role in the Spanish civil war and "gangsta" rap. This book is a must for African American history, social science, and labor collections. David Rouse --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews
This book has a really good information about African American history.Published 3 months ago by Raveena Singh