Race Work: The Rise of Civil Rights in the Urban West by Matthew C. WhitakerRace Work: The Rise of Civil Rights in the Urban West by Matthew C. Whitaker

Race Work: The Rise of Civil Rights in the Urban West

byMatthew C. Whitaker

Paperback | September 1, 2007

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Nearly sixty years ago, Lincoln and Eleanor Ragsdale descended upon the isolated, somewhat desolate, and entirely segregated city of Phoenix, Arizona, in search of freedom and opportunity—a move that would ultimately transform an entire city and, arguably, the nation. Race Work tells the story of this remarkable pair, two of the most influential black activists of the post–World War II American West, and through their story, supplies a missing chapter in the history of the civil rights movement, American race relations, African Americans, and the American West.
Matthew C. Whitaker explores the Ragsdales’ family history and how their familial traditions of entrepreneurship, professionalism, activism, and “race work” helped form their activist identity and placed them in a position to help desegregate Phoenix. His work, the first sustained account of white supremacy and black resistance in Phoenix, also uses the lives of the Ragsdales to examine themes of domination, resistance, interracial coalition building, race, gender, and place against the backdrop of the civil rights and post–civil rights eras. An absorbing biography that provides insight into African Americans’ quest for freedom, Race Work reveals the lives of the Ragsdales as powerful symbols of black leadership who illuminate the problems and progress in African American history, American Western history, and American history during the post–World War II era.
Matthew C. Whitaker is an associate professor of history at Arizona State University. He is also an affiliate faculty member in African and African American studies and the School of Justice and Social Inquiry at ASU.
Title:Race Work: The Rise of Civil Rights in the Urban WestFormat:PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:September 1, 2007Publisher:UNP - Nebraska PaperbackLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:080326027X

ISBN - 13:9780803260276

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Tables
Introduction: The Quest for Racial Equality in Phoenix
PART I. Power Concedes Nothing without Demand
1. The Black Professional Tradition
2. Tuskegee, World War II, and the New Black Activism
3. Mobilization, Agitation, and Protest
PART 2. Creative and Persistent
4. Resistance and Interracial Dissent
5. The Quickening
6. Black and Chicano Leadership and the Struggle for Access and Opportunity
PART 3. Moving Forward Counterclockwise
7. The Struggle for Racial Equality in Phoenix, 1980-2000
Conclusion: Racial Uplift in Phoenix
Appendix A. African American Population in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area and Selected Suburbs, 2000
Appendix B. Regional Racial Distribution in Selected Arizona Cities, 2000
Appendix C. Selected American Western Cities with Black Populations Exceeding Fifty Thousand as of 2000
Appendix D. Ragsdale Businesses and Financial Enterprises
Appendix E. Professional Organizations and Boards for which Lincoln Ragsdale Served
Appendix F. Professional Organizations and Boards for which Eleanor Ragsdale Served
Appendix G. Lincoln Ragsdale's Honors and Distinctions

Editorial Reviews

“This is not a story of saints or devils but of human beings locked in a struggle for and against change. Race Work succeeds in portraying Jim Crow and the civil-rights movement as irreducibly national in scope. . . . A major contribution to our understanding of the movement that fought for equality.”—Aldon Morris, Journal of Interdisciplinary History
- Journal of Interdisciplinary History - 20080105