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Stony the road : Reconstruction, white supremacy, and the rise of Jim Crow / Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

By: Gates, Henry Louis, Jr [author.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2019Description: xxii, 296 pages : illustrations (chiefly colour) ; 24 cm.ISBN: 9780525559535; 0525559531.Subject(s): African Americans -- Segregation -- History -- 20th century | Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877) | African Americans -- History -- 1863-1877 | African Americans -- History -- 1877-1964 | White supremacy movements -- United States -- History -- 21st century | Racism in popular culture -- United States -- History | Visual communication -- Social aspects -- United States -- History | United States -- Race relations -- History -- 19th century | United States -- Race relations -- History -- 20th centuryDDC classification: 973/.0496073 Summary: A compelling, visually dramatic rendering of the struggle by African-Americans for equality after the Civil War, from the hopes of Reconstruction to the violent counter-revolution that overthrew it to the long shadow cast by Jim Crow that still haunts us today. The abolition of slavery in the aftermath of the Civil War is a familiar story, as is the civil rights revolution that transformed the nation after World War II. But the century in between remains a mystery: if emancipation sparked a new birth of freedom in Lincoln's America, why was it necessary to march in Martin Luther King, Jr.'s America? In this new book, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., one of our leading chroniclers of the African-American experience, seeks to answer that question in a history that spans the Reconstruction Era. Through his close reading of the visual culture of this tragic era, Gates reveals the many faces of Jim Crow and how, together, they reinforced a stark color line between white and black Americans. Bringing a lifetime of wisdom to bear as a scholar, filmmaker, and public intellectual, Gates uncovers the roots of structural racism in our own time, while showing how African Americans after slavery combatted it by articulating a vision of a New Negro to force the nation to recognize their humanity and unique contributions to America as it hurtled toward the modern age. The story Gates tells begins with great hope, with the Emancipation Proclamation, Union victory, and the liberation of nearly 4 million enslaved African-Americans. Until 1877, the federal government, goaded by the activism of Frederick Douglass and many others, tried at various turns to sustain their new rights. But the terror unleashed by white paramilitary groups in the former Confederacy, combined with deteriorating economic conditions and a loss of Northern will, restored home rule to the South. The retreat from Reconstruction was followed by one of the most violent periods in our history, with thousands of black people murdered or lynched and many more afflicted by the degrading impositions of Jim Crow segregation. An essential tour through one of America's fundamental historical tragedies, STONY THE PATH is also a story of heroic resistance, as figures such as W. E. B. Du Bois and Ida B. Wells fought to create a counter-narrative, and culture, inside the lion's mouth. As sobering as this tale is, it also has within it the inspiration that comes with encountering the hopes our ancestors advanced against the longest odds.
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Non Fiction 973 (Browse shelf) Available I2188635
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

The abolition of slavery after the Civil War is a familiar story, as is the civil rights revolution that transformed the nation after World War II. But the century in between remains a mystery: if emancipation sparked 'a new birth of freedom' in Lincoln's America, why was it necessary to march in Martin Luther King, Jr.'s America? Gates uncovers the roots of structural racism in our own time, while showing how African-Americans after slavery combatted it by articulating a vision of a 'New Negro' to force the nation to recognise their humanity and unique contributions to the United States.

Includes bibliographical references (pages [265]-279) and index.

A compelling, visually dramatic rendering of the struggle by African-Americans for equality after the Civil War, from the hopes of Reconstruction to the violent counter-revolution that overthrew it to the long shadow cast by Jim Crow that still haunts us today. The abolition of slavery in the aftermath of the Civil War is a familiar story, as is the civil rights revolution that transformed the nation after World War II. But the century in between remains a mystery: if emancipation sparked a new birth of freedom in Lincoln's America, why was it necessary to march in Martin Luther King, Jr.'s America? In this new book, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., one of our leading chroniclers of the African-American experience, seeks to answer that question in a history that spans the Reconstruction Era. Through his close reading of the visual culture of this tragic era, Gates reveals the many faces of Jim Crow and how, together, they reinforced a stark color line between white and black Americans. Bringing a lifetime of wisdom to bear as a scholar, filmmaker, and public intellectual, Gates uncovers the roots of structural racism in our own time, while showing how African Americans after slavery combatted it by articulating a vision of a New Negro to force the nation to recognize their humanity and unique contributions to America as it hurtled toward the modern age. The story Gates tells begins with great hope, with the Emancipation Proclamation, Union victory, and the liberation of nearly 4 million enslaved African-Americans. Until 1877, the federal government, goaded by the activism of Frederick Douglass and many others, tried at various turns to sustain their new rights. But the terror unleashed by white paramilitary groups in the former Confederacy, combined with deteriorating economic conditions and a loss of Northern will, restored home rule to the South. The retreat from Reconstruction was followed by one of the most violent periods in our history, with thousands of black people murdered or lynched and many more afflicted by the degrading impositions of Jim Crow segregation. An essential tour through one of America's fundamental historical tragedies, STONY THE PATH is also a story of heroic resistance, as figures such as W. E. B. Du Bois and Ida B. Wells fought to create a counter-narrative, and culture, inside the lion's mouth. As sobering as this tale is, it also has within it the inspiration that comes with encountering the hopes our ancestors advanced against the longest odds.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Preface (p. xv)
  • 1 Antislavery/Antislave (p. 1)
  • Backlash: The White Resistance to Black Reconstruction (p. 39)
  • 2 The Old Negro
  • Race, Science, Literature, and the Birth of Jim Crow (p. 55)
  • Chains of Being: The Black Body and the White Mind (p. 109)
  • 3 Framing Blackness
  • Sambo Art and the Visual Rhetoric of White Supremacy (p. 125)
  • The United States of Race: Mass-Producing Stereotypes and Fear (p. 159)
  • 4 The New Negro
  • Redeeming the Race from the Redeemers (p. 185)
  • Reframing Race: Enter the New Negro (p. 235)
  • Epilogue (p. 247)
  • A Note about the Text (p. 257)
  • Acknowledgments (p. 261)
  • Notes (p. 265)
  • Index (p. 281)

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Historian Gates (Alphonse Fletcher Univ. Professor, dir. the Hutchins Ctr. for African and African American Research, Harvard Univ.; Life Upon These Shores) has long been fascinated with the idea of the "New Negro," and how African Americans fought back against white supremacy during the Redemption and Jim Crow periods. In this work (its title a lyric from the song "Lift Every Voice and Sing"), the author asserts that this era is fundamental to understanding the current period of racist backlash following Barack Obama's presidency. Borrowing heavily from historians such as Eric Foner and David W. Blight, Gates covers the basics of Reconstruction, the pseudoscience of racism in the field of anthropology, lynching and racial violence across America, and widespread commercial use of stereotypes such as Sambo and Aunt Jemima, and how African Americans continually strived to disprove this onslaught of bigotry through education, literature, art, music, and political organizing. A large number of photographs and illustrations back up his argument of just how unrelenting white supremacy was in this period. VERDICT An excellent introduction to the Redemption period for new readers and a reminder to experts of why the era is still so crucial to American history.-Kate Stewart, Arizona Historical Soc., Tuscon © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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