When Aaron Henry returned home to Mississippi from World War II service in 1946, he was part of wave of black servicemen who challenged the racial status quo. He became a pharmacist through the GI Bill, and as a prominent citizen, he organized a hometown chapter of the NAACP and relatively quickly became leader of the state chapter.
From that launching pad he joined and helped lead an ensemble of activists who fundamentally challenged the system of segregation and the almost total exclusion of African Americans from the political structure. These efforts were most clearly evident in his leadership of the integrated Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party delegation, which, after an unsuccessful effort to unseat the lily-white Democratic delegation at the Democratic National Convention in 1964, won recognition from the national party in 1968.
The man who the New York Times described as being “at the forefront of every significant boycott, sit-in, protest march, rally, voter registration drive and court case” eventually became a rare example of a social-movement leader who successfully moved into political office. Aaron Henry of Mississippi covers the life of this remarkable leader, from his humble beginnings in a sharecropping family to his election to the Mississippi house of representatives in 1979, all the while maintaining the social-change ideology that prompted him to improve his native state, and thereby the nation.
The lack of peace in Sri Lanka is commonly portrayed as a consequence of a violent, ethnonationalist conflict between the Sinhalese majority and the Tamil minority. Viewed in this light, resolution could be attained through conflict management. But, as Qadri Ismail reveals, this is too simplistic an understanding and cannot produce lasting peace.
Abiding by Sri Lanka examines how the disciplines of anthropology, history, and literature treat the Sri Lankan ethnic conflict. Anthropology, Ismail contends, approaches Sri Lanka as an object from an “outside” and western point of view. History, addressing the conflict from the “inside,” abides by the place and so promotes change that is nationalist and exclusive. Neither of these fields imagines an inclusive community. Literature, Ismail argues, can.
With close readings of texts that “abide” by Sri Lanka, texts that have a commitment to it, Ismail demonstrates that the problems in Sri Lanka raise fundamental concerns for us all regarding the relationship between democracies and minorities. Recognizing the structural as well as political tendencies of representative democracies to suppress minorities, Ismail rethinks democracy by redefining the concept of the minority perspective, not as a subject-position of numerical insignificance, but as a conceptual space that opens up the possibility for distinction without domination and, ultimately, peace.
Qadri Ismail is associate professor of English at the University of Minnesota. He has also been a journalist in Sri Lanka.
There have been many studies on the forced relocation and internment of nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. But An Absent Presence is the first to focus on how popular representations of this unparalleled episode in U.S. history affected the formation of Cold War culture. Caroline Chung Simpson shows how the portrayal of this economic and social disenfranchisement haunted—and even shaped—the expression of American race relations and national identity throughout the middle of the twentieth century. Simpson argues that when popular journals or social theorists engaged the topic of Japanese American history or identity in the Cold War era they did so in a manner that tended to efface or diminish the complexity of their political and historical experience. As a result, the shadowy figuration of Japanese American identity often took on the semblance of an “absent presence.” Individual chapters feature such topics as the case of the alleged Tokyo Rose, the Hiroshima Maidens Project, and Japanese war brides. Drawing on issues of race, gender, and nation, Simpson connects the internment episode to broader themes of postwar American culture, including the atomic bomb, McCarthyism, the crises of racial integration, and the anxiety over middle-class gender roles. By recapturing and reexamining these vital flashpoints in the projection of Japanese American identity, Simpson fills a critical and historical void in a number of fields including Asian American studies, American studies, and Cold War history.
World War II was a watershed event for many of America's minorities, but its impact on Chinese Americans has been largely ignored. Utilizing extensive archival research as well as oral histories and letters from over one hundred informants, K. Scott Wong explores how Chinese Americans carved a newly respected and secure place for themselves in American society during the war years.
Long the victims of racial prejudice and discriminatory immigration practices, Chinese Americans struggled to transform their image in the nation's eyes. As Americans racialized the Japanese enemy abroad and interned Japanese Americans at home, Chinese citizens sought to distinguish themselves by venturing beyond the confines of Chinatown to join the military and various defense industries in record numbers. Wong offers the first in-depth account of Chinese Americans in the American military, tracing the history of the 14th Air Service Group, a segregated unit comprising over 1,200 men, and examining how their war service contributed to their social mobility and the shaping of their ethnic identity.
Americans First pays tribute to a generation of young men and women who, torn between loyalties to their parents' traditions and their growing identification with America and tormented by the pervasive racism of wartime America, served their country with patriotism and courage. Consciously developing their image as a "model minority," often at the expense of the Japanese and Japanese Americans, Chinese Americans created the pervasive image of Asian Americans that still resonates today.
Over a period of six years, at factory and warehouse, at the tavern across the road, in their homes and union meetings, on fishing trips and social outings, David Halle talked and listened to workers of an automated chemical plant in New Jersey's industrial heartland. He has emerged with an unusually comprehensive and convincingly realistic picture of blue-collar life in America. Throughout the book, Halle illustrates his analysis with excerpts of workers' views on everything from strikes, class consciousness, politics, job security, and toxic chemicals to marriage, betting on horses, God, home-ownership, drinking, adultery, the Super Bowl, and life after death. Halle challenges the stereotypes of the blue-collar mentality and argues that to understand American class consciousness we must shift our focus from the "working class" to be the "working man."
'A powerful – even startling – book that challenges the shibboleths of 'white' anarchism'. Its analysis of police violence and the threat of fascism are as important now as they were at the end of the 1970s. Perhaps more so' - Peter James Hudson, Black Agenda Report
Anarchism and the Black Revolution first connected Black radical thought to anarchist theory in 1979. Now amidst a rising tide of Black political organizing, this foundational classic written by a key figure of the Civil Rights movement is republished with a wealth of original material for a new generation.
Anarchist theory has long suffered from a whiteness problem. This book places its critique of both capitalism and racism firmly at the center of the text. Making a powerful case for the building of a Black revolutionary movement that rejects sexism, homophobia, militarism and racism, Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin counters the lies and distortions about anarchism spread by its left- and right-wing opponents alike.
New material includes an interview with writer and activist William C. Anderson, as well as new essays, and a contextualizing biography of the author’s inspiring life.
"A sobering analysis of anti-Arab racism, from neo-conservative to liberal, rooted in America's settler colonial past and seeping into every corner of our lives. Steven Salaita takes the reader into the crisis of Arab-American communities in the wake of 9/11. Written with passion, this lucid account of the dangers of American imperialism paints a dark picture of the agenda of the Bush administration not only in the Arab world but also for people of color at home." Miriam Cooke, Professor, Duke University
"An impassioned and deeply compelling look at the origins, evolution, manifestations and implications of anti-Arab racism today. ... A tour-de-force." Lisa Suhair Majaj, co-editor, Etel Adnan: Critical Reflections on the Arab-American Writer and Artist and Intersections: Gender, Nation, and Community in Arab Women¹s Novels
"Salaita dives head-first into the heart of racism in America and uses his personal experiences to help readers understand the mechanics of racism as it applies to Arabs, Muslims and people who look Middle Eastern in the post-Sept. 11 world." Ray Hanania, journalist and filmmaker, author of I¹m Glad I Look Like a Terrorist: Growing up Arab in America and Arabs of Chicagoland
"A highly recommended read, not only for students of Middle East history, but for the average American who wants to know how we have become so intimately and yet so bitterly entwined with the people of the Middle East. ... Salaita has thoughtfully articulated a very regretful era of unabashed racism in American history." Ramzy Baroud, editor, Palestine Chronicle and author of Searching Jenin
Today is a difficult time to be both Arab and American. Since 9/11 there has been a lot of criticism of America¹s involvement in the middle east. Yet there has been little analysis of how America treats citizens of Arab or middle eastern origin within its own borders.
Steven Salaita explores the reality of Anti-Arab racism in America. He blends personal narrative, theory and polemics to show how this deep-rooted racism affects everything from legislation to cultural life, shining a light on the consequences of Anti-Arab racism both at home and abroad.
Uniquely, the book shows how ingrained racist attitudes can be found within the progressive movements on the political left, as well as the right. Salaita argues that, under the guise of patriotism, Anti-Arab racism fuels support for policies such as the Patriot Act.
Salaita breaks down the façade of Anti-Arab racism with an insightful analysis, arguing for the urgency of a commitment to openness and inclusion in today¹s political climate.
Steven Salaita is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin -Whitewater. He writes frequently about Arab America and the Arab World.
In November 2004, the controversial Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was killed on a busy street in Amsterdam. A twenty-six-year-old Dutch citizen of Moroccan descent shot van Gogh, slit his throat, and pinned a five-page indictment of Western society to his body. The murder set off a series of reactions, including arson against Muslim schools and mosques. In The Assassination of Theo van Gogh, Ron Eyerman explores the multiple meanings of the murder and the different reactions it elicited: among the Amsterdam-based artistic and intellectual subculture, the wider Dutch public, the local and international Muslim communities, the radical Islamic movement, and the broader international community. After meticulously analyzing the actions and reputations of van Gogh and others in his milieu, the motives of the murderer, and the details of the assassination itself, Eyerman considers the various narrative frames the mass media used to characterize the killing.
Eyerman utilizes theories of social drama and cultural trauma to evaluate the reactions to and effects of the murder. A social drama is triggered by a public transgression of taken-for-granted norms; one that threatens the collective identity of a society may develop into a cultural trauma. Eyerman contends that the assassination of Theo van Gogh quickly became a cultural trauma because it resonated powerfully with the postwar psyche of the Netherlands. As part of his analysis of the murder and reactions to it, he discusses significant aspects of twentieth-century Dutch history, including the country’s treatment of Jews during the German occupation, the loss of its colonies in the wake of World War II, its recruitment of immigrant workers, and the failure of Dutch troops to protect Muslims in Srebrenica in 1995.