An Unseen Light: Black Struggles for Freedom in Memphis, Tennessee [Paperback]

Aram Goudsouzian (Editor); Charles W. McKinney (Editor); Elizabeth Gritter (Other); Brian D. Page (Other); Darius Young (Other)

ISBN: 9780813153179 | Published by: University Press of Kentucky | Series: Civil Rights and the Struggle for Black Equality in the Twentieth Century | Year of Publication: 2022 | Language: English 422p, H229 x W152 (mm) 15 b/w photos

An Unseen Light


During the second half of the 19th-century, Memphis, Tennessee, had the largest metropolitan population of African Americans in the mid-South region and served as a political hub for civic organizations and grassroots movements. On April 4, 1968, the city found itself at the epicenter of the civil rights movement when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel. Nevertheless, despite the many significant events that took place in the city and its citizens' many contributions to the black freedom struggle, Memphis has been largely overlooked by historians of the civil rights movement.

In An Unseen Light, eminent and rising scholars offer a multidisciplinary examination of Memphis's role in African American history during the twentieth century. Together, they investigate episodes such as the 1940 'Reign of Terror' when black Memphians experienced a prolonged campaign of harassment, mass arrests, and violence at the hands of police. They also examine topics including the relationship between the labor and civil rights movements, the fight for economic advancement in black communities, and the impact of music on the city's culture. Covering subjects as diverse as politics, sports, music, activism, and religion, An Unseen Light illuminates Memphis's place in the long history of the struggle for African American freedom.

Table of Contents

Introduction 'In the Hands of the Lord' 'The Saving of Black America's Body and White America's Soul' Equal Power ''There Will Be No Discriminiation Taylor-Made ''We'll Have No Race Trouble Here Power and Protection Black Memphians and New Frontiers 'Since I Was a Citizen, I Had the Right to Attend the LIbrary' 'You Pay One Hell of a Price to Be Black If the March Cannot Be Here, Then Where? Nonviolence, Black Power, and the Surveillance State in Memphis's War on Poverty Beyond 1968 Beauty and the Black Student Revolt After Stax Black Workers Matter Coda

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