At the New School for Social Research in 1931, the dance critic for the New York Times announced the arrival of modern dance, touting the “serious art” of such dancers as Mary Wigman, Martha Graham, and Doris Humphrey. Across town, Hemsley Winfield and Edna Guy were staging what they called “The First Negro Dance Recital in America,” which Dance Magazine proclaimed “the beginnings of great and important choreographic creations.” Yet never have the two parallel traditions converged in the annals of American dance in the twentieth century.Modern Dance, Negro Dance is the first book to bring together these two vibrant strains of American dance in the modern era. Susan Manning traces the paths of modern dance and Negro dance from their beginnings in the Depression to their ultimate transformations in the postwar years, from Helen Tamiris’s and Ted Shawn’s suites of Negro Spirituals to concerts sponsored by the Workers Dance League, from Graham’s American Document to the debuts of Katherine Dunham and Pearl Primus, from José Limón’s 1954 work The Traitor to Merce Cunningham’s 1958 dances Summerspace and Antic Meet, to Ailey’s 1960 masterpiece Revelations.Through photographs and reviews, documentary film and oral history, Manning intricately and inextricably links the two historically divided traditions. The result is a unique view of American dance history across the divisions of black and white, radical and liberal, gay and straight, performer and spectator, and into the multiple, interdependent meanings of bodies in motion. Susan Manning is associate professor of English, theater, and performance studies at Northwestern University. She is the author of Ecstasy and the Demon: Feminism and Nationalism in the Dances of Mary Wigman, winner of the 1994 de la Torre Bueno Prize for the year’s most important contribution to dance studies.
This pathbreaking study traces the rise--and subsequent fall--of the
United Packinghouse Workers of America (UPWA). Roger Horowitz emphasizes
local leaders and meatpacking workers in Chicago, Kansas City, Sioux City,
and Austin, Minnesota, and closely examines the unionizing of the workplace
and the prominent role of black workers and women in UPWA.
In clear, anecdotal style, Horowitz shows how three major firms in U.S.
meat production and distribution became dominant by virtually eliminating
union power. The union's decline, he argues, reflected massive pressure
by capital for lower labor costs and greater control over the work process.
In the end, the victorious firms were those that had been most successful
at increasing the rate of exploitation of their workers, who now labor
in conditions as bad as those of a century ago.
"The definitive study of unionism in the meatpacking industry for
the period since the 1920's." -- James R. Barrett, author of Work and Community in the Jungle: Chicago's Packinghouse Workers, 1894-1922 A volume in the series The Working Class in American History, edited by David Brody, Alice Kessler-Harris, David Montgomery, and Sean Wilentz Supported by the Illinois Labor History Society
The Negro in Illinois was produced by a special division of the Illinois Writers' Project, one of President Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration programs. Headed by Harlem Renaissance poet Arna Bontemps and white proletarian writer Jack Conroy, The Negro in Illinois employed Richard Wright, Margaret Walker, Katherine Dunham, Fenton Johnson, Frank Yerby, Richard Durham, and other major black writers living in Chicago.
The authors chronicled the African American experience in Illinois from the beginnings of slavery to the Great Migration. Individual chapters discuss various aspects of public and domestic life, recreation, politics, religion, literature, and performing arts. After the project's cancellation in 1942, most of the writings went unpublished for more than half a century--until now. Editor Brian Dolinar provides an informative introduction and epilogue which explain the origins of the project and place it in the context of the Black Chicago Renaissance.
In 1863, as the Civil War raged, the escaped slave, abolitionist, and novelist William Wells Brown identified two groups most harmful to his race. "The first and most relentless," he explained, "are those who have done them the greatest injury, by being instrumental in their enslavement and consequent degradation. They delight to descant upon the â€˜natural inferiority' of the blacks, and claim that we were destined only for a servile condition, entitled neither to liberty nor the legitimate pursuit of happiness.
The second class," Brown concluded, "are those who are ignorant of the characteristics of the race, and are the mere echoes of the first." Four years later, Brown wrote the first military history of African Americans, The Negro in the American Rebellion. This text assailed those whose hatred and ignorance inclined them to keep blacks oppressed after Appomattox.
This critical edition of The Negro in the American Rebellion, one of Brown's least-analyzed texts, is the first to appear in more than three decades. In his introduction, historian John David Smith identifies the text's Anglo-American abolitionist roots, sets it in the context of Brown's other writings, appraises it as military history, analyzes its interpretation of black masculinity and honor, and focuses closely on Brown's assessment of contemporary racial tensions.
Largely ignored by scholars, The Negro in the American Rebellion, Smith argues, is a powerful transitional text, one that confronted squarely the neo-slavery of the Reconstruction era.
"Whites," Brown wrote, "appear determined to reduce the blacks to a state of serfdom if they cannot have them as slaves." His important text was a call to arms in the ongoing race struggle. Smith's analysis, framed within recent scholarship on slavery, emancipation, and African American participation in the U.S. army, is long overdue.
". . . no American can be pleased with the treatment of Negro Americans, North and South, in the years before the Civil War. In his clear, lucid account of the Northern phase of the story Professor Litwack has performed a notable service."—John Hope Franklin, Journal of Negro Education
"For a searching examination of the North Star Legend we are indebted to Leon F. Litwack. . . ."—C. Vann Woodward, The American Scholar
The monumental American Guide Series, published by the Federal Writers’ Project, provided work to thousands of unemployed writers, editors, and researchers in the midst of the Great Depression. Featuring books on states, cities, rivers, and ethnic groups, it also opened an unprecedented view into the lives of the American people during this time. Untold numbers of projects in progress were lost when the program was abruptly shut down by a hostile Congress in 1939.
One of those, "The Negro in Pittsburgh," lay dormant in the Pennsylvania State Library until it was microfilmed in 1970. The WPA History of the Negro in Pittsburgh marks the first publication of this rich body of information. This unique historical study of the city’s black population features articles on civil rights, social class, lifestyle, culture, folklore, and institutions from colonial times through the 1930s.