African American history Essay Example
African American history Essay Example

African American history Essay Example

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  • Pages: 3 (755 words)
  • Published: June 9, 2022
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Blair L.M. Kelly is an American Historian and author specializing in African American history. She has a Ph.D. from Duke University for History and teaches history at North Carolina State University. The book she has written “Right to Ride” is set in the late 1800’s to the 1900’s during the early Jim Crow era. Her approach in the book is a suit and nearby sorting out against segregated rails that prompted the Plessy v. Ferguson choice in 1896 and the streetcar boycott development pursued in 25 southern urban areas from 1900 to 1907.

Blair L.M. Kelly Right to Ride concentrates on three key urban communities - New Orleans, Richmond, and Savannah- - Kelley investigates the network associations that bound protestors together and the divisions of class, sex, and aspiration that occasionally divided them. The book powers a reassessment of the timetables of the dark opportunity


battle, uncovering that a period once expelled as the time of settlement should, truth be told, be portrayed as a feature of a background marked by challenge and obstruction.

Blair Kelley recounts the narrative of a few turn-of-the-century integration crusades. Numerous pursuers will know that black Americans mounted fruitful boycott crusades to integrate urban travel frameworks, especially from August Meier and Elliot Rudwick's 1969 article. Kelley takes a gander at a few of these and disagrees with Meier and Rudwick's delineation of them as basically moderate and white-collar class, rather than the more radical and mass-based Montgomery transport boycott of 1955. His story demonstrates the mind-boggling issues that emerged in black networks isolated along lines of class, philosophy, and appearance.

Her introduction is good and makes credible points and examples of how unjust

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segregation laws were. She even tells of an example of one of these unjust laws effecting one of the most influential man in America’s history that of Martin Luther King Jr. Where “A grand jury indicted King for violating an Alabama antiboycott law.” Off the bat she gives an example of a popular household name throughout America making this book catch my attention and I’m sure others as well. The introduction sets the book up in a good way with strong historical evidence cited throughout making this part very credible. The reason it isn’t great though is because she doesn’t mention the history of why there are these types of laws.

The first official chapter of the book gives an interesting outlook on segregation in America. Kelley makes a solid point when she brings up the Plessy v. Ferguson case of 1896 that many people “mistaken notion that segregation began at that moment and that it was really just a southern problem.” Until today I was like those many people thinking that segregation was caused by the Jim Crow laws but it was always there before that, those laws just made it official. The first chapter is set up great with many examples like this that are well explained.

The examples of how cruel segregation was that the author portrays in the book certainly makes good points of how unfair the times were for people of color. “In a time when most women were not smokers, abolitionist Sojourner Truth commented in 1867 that she has been sent into the smoking-car so often she smoked in self-defense-she would rather swallow her own smoke than another’s.” I never imagined

something so unfair that it would actually harm you in a way physically and emotionally. This is a great example that is used to make a strong point and from an actual person of that time.

Right to Ride conclusion is strong. The author showed the history and effects of segregation in America and gave examples of real-life experiences of how African Americans went through such a horrific time period filled with racism and unfair acts of laws. “Their efforts did not stop segregation, disfranchisement, or racial violence. The failure of this generation would help to feed the consciousness of the next.”

Most of the book talks about essentially the same things, in preluding to the actual boycotts. This makes the book filled with what it seems endless information of examples of cases leading to boycotts. Kelley probably could have done just as well with fewer instances instead of the constant reinforcing of preluding to boycotts. But this can also attribute to her knowledge of the subject, and that she wants to make a strong point. This book overall is great with her strong writing and understandable opinions that are backed by strong evidence in both primary and secondary sources.

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