A Movement Without Marches: African American Women and the by Lisa Levenstein

By Lisa Levenstein

During this daring interpretation of U.S. background, Lisa Levenstein reframes hugely charged debates over the origins of persistent African American poverty and the social guidelines and political struggles that resulted in the postwar city main issue. A flow with out Marches follows terrible black ladies as they traveled from a few of Philadelphia's such a lot impoverished neighborhoods into its welfare places of work, courtrooms, public housing, colleges, and hospitals, laying declare to an unparalleled array of presidency advantages and companies. Levenstein uncovers the limitations that led girls to public associations, emphasizing the significance not just of deindustrialization and racial discrimination but in addition of women's reports with intercourse discrimination, insufficient public schooling, baby rearing, household violence, and persistent affliction. Women's claims on public associations introduced quite a number new assets into bad African American groups. With those assets got here new constraints, as public officers often spoke back to women's efforts by way of restricting advantages and trying to keep an eye on their own lives. Scathing public narratives approximately women's "dependency" and their kid's "illegitimacy" positioned African American girls and public associations on the heart of the transforming into competition to black migration and civil rights in northern U.S. towns. Countering stereotypes that experience lengthy plagued public debate, A move with out Marches bargains a brand new paradigm for knowing postwar U.S. heritage.

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Extra resources for A Movement Without Marches: African American Women and the Politics of Poverty in Postwar Philadelphia (The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture)

Sample text

Mrs. 14 Introduction Sanderson wanted a large family, but she was unable to conceive again after bearing her son. Mrs. ’’ In returning to the labor force when they had small children, Mrs. Sanderson and Mrs. ≤≥ The labor market that Mrs. Sanderson and Mrs. Elkins confronted in Philadelphia was undergoing major structural shifts. Throughout the nineteenth century, the city had been a thriving manufacturing metropolis, well-known for its diverse array of goods—textiles, clothing, paper, glass, furniture, shoes, and hardware—produced in comparatively small shops and factories.

The locations chosen for public housing further confined poor African American families to segregated neighborhoods. 5 1 2 3 4 Miles W E S Map 2. S. S. Census of Population: 1950, Census Tract Statistics, 154–204. 5 1 2 3 4 E Miles S Map 3. S. S. Census of Housing: 1960, City Blocks, 1–169. Poplar Street in North Philadelphia had some shops and businesses in the 1950s. Temple University Libraries, Urban Archives, Philadelphia, Pa. ≤≤ Mrs. Elkins and Mrs. Sanderson both combined marriage and motherhood with continued participation in the labor force.

Many small businesses were integrated into the residential area, and there was a great deal of life on the streets. Neighbors sat on their steps, and children were disciplined collectively by mothers who punished anyone they caught misbehaving on their blocks. Mrs. Elkins lived in a ‘‘wreck’’ of a building in the area of West Philadelphia that African Americans called ‘‘the bottom’’ because of its location below 52nd Street. ‘‘The bottom,’’ Mrs. Elkins explained, accurately described the physical condition of the neighborhood.

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