Lost in the USA: American Identity from the Promise Keepers to the Million Mom March

University of Illinois Press
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Remembered as an era of peace and prosperity, turn-of-the-millennium America was also a time of mass protest. But the political demands of the marchers seemed secondary to an urgent desire for renewal and restoration felt by people from all walks of life. Drawing on thousands of personal testimonies, Deborah Gray White explores how Americans sought better ways of living in, and dealing with, a rapidly changing world. From the Million Man, Million Woman, and Million Mom Marches to the Promise Keepers and LGBT protests, White reveals a people lost in their own country. Mass gatherings offered a chance to bond with like-minded others against a relentless tide of loneliness and isolation. By participating, individuals opened a door to self-discovery that energized their quests for order, autonomy, personal meaning, and fellowship in a society that seemed hostile to such deeper human needs. Moving forward in time, White also shows what marchers found out about themselves and those gathered around them. The result is an eye-opening reconsideration of a defining time in contemporary America.
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About the author

Deborah Gray White is Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of history at Rutgers University. Her books include Too Heavy A Load: Black Women in Defense of Themselves, 1894-1994, Let My People Go: African Americans 1804-1860, and Ar'n't I a Woman?: Female Slaves in the Plantation South.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Illinois Press
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Published on
Mar 9, 2017
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Pages
280
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ISBN
9780252099403
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Language
English
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Genres
History / General
History / United States / 20th Century
Social Science / Ethnic Studies / African American Studies
Social Science / Women's Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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The field of black women's history gained recognition as a legitimate field of study only late in the twentieth century. Collecting stories that are both deeply personal and powerfully political, Telling Histories compiles seventeen personal narratives by leading black women historians at various stages in their careers. Their essays illuminate how--first as graduate students and then as professional historians--they entered and navigated the realm of higher education, a world concerned with and dominated by whites and men. In distinct voices and from different vantage points, the personal histories revealed here also tell the story of the struggle to establish a new scholarly field.

Black women, alleged by affirmative-action supporters and opponents to be "twofers," recount how they have confronted racism, sexism, and homophobia on college campuses. They explore how the personal and the political intersect in historical research and writing and in the academy. Organized by the years the contributors earned their Ph.D.'s, these essays follow the black women who entered the field of history during and after the civil rights and black power movements, endured the turbulent 1970s, and opened up the field of black women's history in the 1980s. By comparing the experiences of older and younger generations, this collection makes visible the benefits and drawbacks of the institutionalization of African American and African American women's history. Telling Histories captures the voices of these pioneers, intimately and publicly.

Contributors:
Elsa Barkley Brown, University of Maryland
Mia Bay, Rutgers University
Leslie Brown, Washington University in St. Louis
Crystal N. Feimster, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Sharon Harley, University of Maryland
Wanda A. Hendricks, University of South Carolina
Darlene Clark Hine, Northwestern University
Chana Kai Lee, University of Georgia
Jennifer L. Morgan, New York University
Nell Irvin Painter, Newark, New Jersey
Merline Pitre, Texas Southern University
Barbara Ransby, University of Illinois at Chicago
Julie Saville, University of Chicago
Brenda Elaine Stevenson, University of California, Los Angeles
Ula Taylor, University of California, Berkeley
Rosalyn Terborg-Penn, Morgan State University
Deborah Gray White, Rutgers University



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