By Lisa Levenstein
During this daring interpretation of U.S. heritage, Lisa Levenstein reframes hugely charged debates over the origins of continual African American poverty and the social regulations and political struggles that ended in the postwar city quandary. A flow with no Marches follows negative black girls as they traveled from a few of Philadelphia's so much impoverished neighborhoods into its welfare places of work, courtrooms, public housing, colleges, and hospitals, laying declare to an unparalleled array of presidency merits and providers. Levenstein uncovers the restrictions that led ladies to public associations, emphasizing the significance not just of deindustrialization and racial discrimination but in addition of women's stories with intercourse discrimination, insufficient public schooling, baby rearing, family violence, and protracted sickness. Women's claims on public associations introduced more than a few new assets into negative African American groups. With those assets got here new constraints, as public officers often replied to women's efforts through restricting advantages and trying to keep an eye on their own lives. Scathing public narratives approximately women's "dependency" and their kid's "illegitimacy" put African American ladies 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 stream with out Marches deals 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)
Just gotta walk three blocks to a grocery store; somebody’s going to say something to you,’’ she recalled. ’’ ‘‘If you couldn’t handle the repartee, they’re backing you up somewhere. . ’’ Onlookers would ‘‘just sit back and grin at you,’’ she explained, leaving her to fend o√ assaults alone. As an adult, Mrs. Elkins moved to the African American neighborhood in West Philadelphia. Here, families lived in two-story brick-row houses, side-byside duplexes known as ‘‘twin houses,’’ and converted apartments in larger homes that had once been the most exclusive mansions in the city but had become extremely neglected.
Elkins found themselves led them to seek assistance from public institutions. Denied access to adequate education in the South and to decent employment in Philadelphia, Mrs. Sanderson toiled to support herself and her son beyond the limits of her physical endurance. Mrs. Elkins’s reliable job did not keep her out of poverty when she left her husband and tried to raise her children alone. Domestic violence, marital separations, inadequate wages, and responsibility for children plunged both women into precarious living situations, forcing them to teeter on the brink of ﬁnancial and familial disaster.
Strain, whether anybody knows it or not. ’’∞ Women like Mrs. Morris endured the ‘‘strain’’ of welfare because it was an improvement over their previous living arrangements. Most of them had at one time supported themselves and their children through employment, but health problems, lack of child care, or layo√s had prevented them from keeping their jobs. Since their relatives, friends, and neighbors were also poor, mutual support networks could not solve their problems. Most women viewed depending on men for survival as an impossible or unattractive solution, given their past experiences with nonsupport, inﬁdelity, and abuse.