The Politics of Public Housing: Black Womens Struggles against Urban Inequality

Paperback | January 10, 2006

byRhonda Y. Williams

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In this collective biography, Rhonda Y. Williams takes us behind, and beyond, politically expedient labels to provide an incisive and intimate portrait of poor black women in urban America. Drawing on dozens of interviews, Williams challenges the notion that low-income housing was a resoundingfailure that doomed three consecutive generations of post-war Americans to entrenched poverty. Instead, she recovers a history of grass-roots activism, of political awakening, and of class mobility, all facilitated by the creation of affordable public housing. The stereotyping of black women,especially mothers, has obscured a complicated and nuanced reality too often warped by the political agendas of both the left and the right, and has prevented an accurate understanding of the successes and failures of government anti-poverty policy.

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In this collective biography, Rhonda Y. Williams takes us behind, and beyond, politically expedient labels to provide an incisive and intimate portrait of poor black women in urban America. Drawing on dozens of interviews, Williams challenges the notion that low-income housing was a resoundingfailure that doomed three consecutive gener...

Rhonda Y. Williams is Associate Professor of Women's Studies and History at Case Western Reserve University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 5.71 × 8.82 × 0.71 inPublished:January 10, 2006Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195306511

ISBN - 13:9780195306514

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Table of Contents

AbbreviationsIntroductionPart I - Beginnings1. Creating "A Little Heaven for Poor People": Decent Housing and Respectable Communities2. "A Woman Can Understand": Dissidence in 1940s Public HousingPart II - Shifting Landscapes3. Shifting Landscapes in Postwar Baltimore4. "When Then Came the Change": The Fight Against DisreputePart II - Respect, Rights, and Power5. "An Awakening Giant": The Search for Poor People's Political Power6. "Sunlight at Early Dawn": Economic Struggles, Public Housing, and Welfare RightsEpilogue

Editorial Reviews

"An innovative study of the history of the activist work of low-income black women. Deeply researched and eloquently rendered, this book provides a new model for understanding urban political history--not from the bottom up, but from the inside out." --Barbara Dianne Savage, author ofBroadcasting Freedom