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I've Got the Light of Freedom: The…
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I've Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition and the… (edição: 1997)

de Charles M. Payne (Autor)

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216296,602 (4.36)1
This momentous work offers a groundbreaking history of the early civil rights movement in the South. Using wide-ranging archival work and extensive interviews with movement participants, Charles Payne uncovers a chapter of American social history forged locally, in places like Greenwood, Mississippi, where countless unsung African Americans risked their lives for the freedom struggle. The leaders were ordinary women and men--sharecroppers, domestics, high school students, beauticians, independent farmers--committed to organizing the civil rights struggle house by house, block by block, relationship by relationship. Payne brilliantly brings to life the tradition of grassroots African American activism, long practiced yet poorly understood. Payne overturns familiar ideas about community activism in the 1960s. The young organizers who were the engines of change in the state were not following any charismatic national leader. Far from being a complete break with the past, their work was based directly on the work of an older generation of activists, people like Ella Baker, Septima Clark, Amzie Moore, Medgar Evers, Aaron Henry. These leaders set the standards of courage against which young organizers judged themselves; they served as models of activism that balanced humanism with militance. While historians have commonly portrayed the movement leadership as male, ministerial, and well-educated, Payne finds that organizers in Mississippi and elsewhere in the most dangerous parts of the South looked for leadership to working-class rural Blacks, and especially to women. Payne also finds that Black churches, typically portrayed as frontrunners in the civil rights struggle, were in fact late supporters of the movement.… (mais)
Membro:HilaryCallahan
Título:I've Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition and the Mississippi Freedom Struggle
Autores:Charles M. Payne (Autor)
Informação:University of California Press (1997), 506 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:library misc

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I've Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition and the Mississippi Freedom Struggle de Charles M. Payne

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An amazing look at the grassroots organizing for civil rights that took place in Mississippi. A key text for those who interested in organizing a grassroots movement. ( )
  emptyw | Sep 30, 2011 |
Payne, Charles M., I’ve Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition and the Mississippi
Freedom Struggle, Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1995, pp. 525
(with notes, index, and bibliographic essay).

In I’ve Got the Light of Freedom, Charles M. Payne scrutinizes the Black freedom struggle in Mississippi in the early 1960s. Payne places the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) at the center of his examination of activities in of the struggle in Mississippi. SNCC, Payne argues, not only seeks to develop local leadership in Mississippi but also is the beneficiary of grass roots organizers already in areas where SNCC sets up operations. Payne also delineates between phases of the movement. SNCC activities in the early 1960s, Payne suggests, are quite different from freedom activities in the mid-1960s. Although there maybe ideological reasons for this difference, Payne argues that the management style of the movement phases was the major difference: SNCC developed local leaders and empowered local people, where as later groups brought in national or state leaders who did less to empower local people.
The local leadership and organizing tradition of the African American community, Payne notes, provides a framework for SNCC. Under the guidance of Ella Baker, SNCC formed from students concerned with the freedom struggle and who wanted to participate but were “skeptical of top-down organizations” (page 101) such as Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Payne clearly illustrates SNCCs debt to the leadership style of Baker and similar freedom movement figures. Further, Payne extends that debt to a fundamental level – to the entire black community. In a keen insight, Payne relates black activism to those men and women who “maintained a deep sense of community” (page 405) as a form of resistance to Progressive era white supremacy. What SNCC was able to achieve, Payne argues, was to provide that local leadership with a means of expression, a method to focus their energies and channel their desire for change.
Payne details how SNCC received support within the community. Local leaders emanate from a group of citizens who share one particular important characteristic: economic independence from white society. Whether they were retired, own their own business, students who do not have incomes (but repercussions could be dealt against their parents), or women whose husbands have more important jobs, local leaders possessed some economic autonomy. The breadth of that group also serves one of SNCCs founding principles of community: develop local talent and everyone had something to offer. These strictures came full-blown from Ella Baker, Septima Clark, and others of that generation who, in turn, inherited the belief in value of local talent and community from their personal family legacy. SNCC, in Payne’s opinion, builds the freedom movement within the community by implementing these guidelines. In this way SNCC both strengthens an existing feeling of community and fosters a political growth within the community.
Payne clearly illustrates SNCC’s affect on the community but only hints at the reverse. As an organization that is founded with Nonviolent as part of its name, SNCC undergoes a transformation by the mid-1960s. Payne mentions SNCC members who participate in armed patrols but fails to extend that into a discussion of the community’s effect on the organization. If SNCC’s operational methods are traceable to early black activism of community, surely this radicalization of SNCC can also be traced to the same community. Nonetheless, Payne’s work remains a high-water mark in the awareness of the movement that future historians must address. ( )
  ncunionist | Apr 25, 2008 |
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This momentous work offers a groundbreaking history of the early civil rights movement in the South. Using wide-ranging archival work and extensive interviews with movement participants, Charles Payne uncovers a chapter of American social history forged locally, in places like Greenwood, Mississippi, where countless unsung African Americans risked their lives for the freedom struggle. The leaders were ordinary women and men--sharecroppers, domestics, high school students, beauticians, independent farmers--committed to organizing the civil rights struggle house by house, block by block, relationship by relationship. Payne brilliantly brings to life the tradition of grassroots African American activism, long practiced yet poorly understood. Payne overturns familiar ideas about community activism in the 1960s. The young organizers who were the engines of change in the state were not following any charismatic national leader. Far from being a complete break with the past, their work was based directly on the work of an older generation of activists, people like Ella Baker, Septima Clark, Amzie Moore, Medgar Evers, Aaron Henry. These leaders set the standards of courage against which young organizers judged themselves; they served as models of activism that balanced humanism with militance. While historians have commonly portrayed the movement leadership as male, ministerial, and well-educated, Payne finds that organizers in Mississippi and elsewhere in the most dangerous parts of the South looked for leadership to working-class rural Blacks, and especially to women. Payne also finds that Black churches, typically portrayed as frontrunners in the civil rights struggle, were in fact late supporters of the movement.

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