Thursday, March 27, 2008

Exploiting The Plantation Mentality

I don't blame Dr. Laurie B. Green, for taking advantage of the infatuation some blacks have with whites. With all these educated intellectuals here in Memphis, why was it necessary to leave it to a white outsider to tell the story? A white college professor who doesn't even live in Memphis, and probably never did. Has written a book detailing the plight of blacks during the civil rights movement. She has taken the experiences and and recollections of others and put it in the form of a book. Everything she had to say, she obtained from somebody else. Though she spoke with some of the book's contributors. The subject of royalties wasn't mentioned. I guess it's understood she'll be keeping all the proceeds. She doesn't even sound old enough to have been born in the sixties. Some blacks were willing to tell everything they thought they knew. To this educated young white woman who was willing to listen to what they said and write it down. The success or failure of this book itself, is built on the "Plantation Mentality."

I touched on something I noticed about this interview in an earlier blog about another writer: A black writer writing about his own black history has a tough row to hoe. This writer had to become successful first, and then was invited back to promote his third book. Instead of questions about his latest book. And receiving pledges of support from the callers. He spent the entire hour fielding questions about who his publisher was, and how he got his book deal? All of a sudden everybody has a book on their mind, that's just waiting to be written. Could this be that other mentality in effect? Notice any similarities:


Blogger Common said...

Battling the Plantation Mentality
Memphis and the Black Freedom Struggle
by Laurie B. Green

African American freedom is often defined in terms of emancipation and civil rights legislation, but it did not arrive with the stroke of a pen or the rap of a gavel. No single event makes this more plain, Laurie Green argues, than the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers' strike, which culminated in the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Exploring the notion of "freedom" in postwar Memphis, Green demonstrates that the civil rights movement was battling an ongoing "plantation mentality" based on race, gender, and power that permeated southern culture long before--and even after--the groundbreaking legislation of the mid-1960s.

With its slogan "I AM a Man!" the Memphis strike provides a clarion example of how the movement fought for a black freedom that consisted of not only constitutional rights but also social and human rights. As the sharecropping system crumbled and migrants streamed to the cities during and after World War II, the struggle for black freedom touched all aspects of daily life. Green traces the movement to new locations, from protests against police brutality and racist movie censorship policies to innovations in mass culture, such as black-oriented radio stations. Incorporating scores of oral histories, Green demonstrates that the interplay of politics, culture, and consciousness is critical to truly understanding freedom and the black struggle for it.
About the author

Laurie B. Green is assistant professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin.

10:11 PM  

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