Time Longer than Rope: A Century of African American Activism, 1850-1950 by Adam GreenTime Longer than Rope: A Century of African American Activism, 1850-1950 by Adam Green

Time Longer than Rope: A Century of African American Activism, 1850-1950

byAdam GreenEditorCharles Payne

Hardcover | August 1, 2003

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The story of the civil rights movement is well-known, popularized by both the media and the academy. Yet the version of the story recounted time and again by both history books and PBS documentaries is a simplified one, reduced to an inspirational but ultimately facile narrative framed around Dr. King, the Kennedys, and the redemptive days of Montgomery and Memphis, in which black individuals become the rescued survivors. This story renders the mass of black people invisible, refusing to take seriously everyday people whose years of persistent struggle often made the big events possible.

Time Longer than Rope unearths the ordinary roots of extraordinary change, demonstrating the depth and breadth of black oppositional spirit and activity that preceded the civil rights movement. The diversity of activism covered by this collection extends from tenant farmers' labor reform campaign in the 1919 Elaine, Arkansas massacre to Harry T. Moore’s leadership of a movement that registered 100,000 black Floridians years before Montgomery, and from women's participation in the Garvey movement to the changing meaning of the Lincoln Memorial. Concentrating on activist efforts in the South, key themes emerge, including the under appreciated importance of historical memory and community building, the divisive impact of class and sexism, and the shifting interplay between individual initiative and structural constraints.

More than simply illuminating a hitherto marginalized fragment of American history, Time Longer than Rope provides a crucial pre-history of the modern civil rights movement. In the process, it alters our entire understanding of African American activism and the very meaning of “civil rights.”

Title:Time Longer than Rope: A Century of African American Activism, 1850-1950Format:HardcoverDimensions:592 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.3 inPublished:August 1, 2003Publisher:NYU PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0814767028

ISBN - 13:9780814767023

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Editorial Reviews

“The essays that make up Time Longer Than Rope skillfully express the variety, depth, and resilience of African Americans’ resistance in the effort to achieve political freedom and greater economic opportunities and to maintain viable intraracial community associations to fight for equality. A useful tool that will facilitate student awareness of the varied and long-term struggle for black freedom in America."-The Journal of American History,