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The Art of Protest

The Art of Protest: Culture and Activism from the Civil Rights Movement to the Streets of Seattle

T. V. Reed
Copyright Date: 2005
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 388
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  • Book Info
    The Art of Protest
    Book Description:

    The first overview of social movements and the cultural forms that helped shape them, The Art of Protest shows the importance of these movements to American culture. In comparative accounts of movements beginning with the African American civil rights movement through the Internet-driven movement for global justice, T. V. Reed enriches our understanding of protest and its cultural expression.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-9263-7
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. xiii-xxiv)

    This book hopes to prove useful to three main types of readers. For students and general readers new to the subject, it presents an introduction to social movements through the rich, kaleidoscopic lens of artistic and cultural expression. For scholars of social movements, it offers intriguing observations on particular movements and useful insights into various ways to think about the relations between culture and social change. For activists, it seeks to offer inspiration and a tool kit of ideas about how art and culture can further movement goals. These three sets of readers overlap, of course, in the form of...

  5. ONE Singing Civil Rights: The Freedom Song Tradition
    (pp. 1-39)

    The year is 1960. The place is the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee. It is one of the few places in the South where black and white people gather together to talk about the emerging civil rights movement. Police regularly raid the school and challenge the activists. Those inside know their lives are in constant danger from the police and the Ku Klux Klan. On this evening some high school students are among those gathered. The police charge in and force the activists to sit in the dark while they harass them by searching through their things. Amid this terrifying...

  6. TWO Scenarios for Revolution: The Drama of the Black Panthers
    (pp. 40-74)

    The scene opens in the parking lot of the California state capitol building in Sacramento. It is the spring of 1967. Thirty young black people, twenty-four men and six women, are pulling rifles, twelve-gauge shotguns, and .357-magnum handguns out of their car trunks and loading them. Dressed in uniforms of black berets, black leather jackets, and powder blue shirts, they begin to move in loose formation up the steps to the capitol. One of the young black men on the scene shouts, “Look at Reagan run!” as then governor and future president Ronald Reagan beats a hasty retreat in the...

  7. THREE The Poetical Is the Political: Feminist Poetry and the Poetics ofWomen’s Rights
    (pp. 75-102)

    No social movement in the past fifty years has had a greater cultural impact than the women’s movement, which reemerged in the 1960s and has grown in multifaceted ways into the present. The tremendous impact of feminism in everyday life includes, but extends far beyond, changes in laws, legislation, and political institutions. The texture of the life of every single person living in the United States was changed by the new feminism.

    Here is a short list of ideas about women that were unimaginably radical for most American men and women to think, let alone endorse, up to the 1960s,...

  8. FOUR Revolutionary Walls: Chicano/a Murals, Chicano/a Movements
    (pp. 103-128)

    The people we now call Mexican Americans, or Chicanos, came into existence through resistance to two wars of conquest. The first was that of Spanish conquistadors, who in the sixteenth century invaded and decimated the native peoples of the territories now known as Mexico and the southwestern United States. Rape, concubinage, and intermarriage between the Spaniards, various indigenous peoples, African slaves, and others eventually createdla raza cósmica,the multihued mix of peoples that is Mexico. The second war of conquest was that of the United States against Mexico. The U.S. states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and...

  9. FIVE Old Cowboys, New Indians: Hollywood Frames the American Indian Movement
    (pp. 129-155)

    Native American “red power” warriors moved “like a hurricane” across the landscape of America in the late 1960s and early 1970s.¹ These new “Indians” challenged five hundred years of colonial domination by fighting for a return to full sovereign status for native nations, restoration of lands guaranteed by treaty, just compensation for the minerals exploited from reservations, and a renaissance of native culture. The most famous and infamous native organization of the red power era, the American Indian Movement (AIM), will be my focus here. Despite its name, AIM was nottheIndian movement but rather only one organization among...

  10. SIX “We Are [Not] the World”: Famine, Apartheid, and the Politics of Rock Music
    (pp. 156-178)

    The mid-1980s saw the rise of a series of globally televised concerts, records, and videos that have been variously called “charity rock,” “benefit rock,” or, with a nod to a rather different tradition, “agit-pop” (a word play onagit-prop,the shorthand term for so-called agitation propaganda used by radicals to characterize movement-based political art in the 1930s).¹ Benefit concerts are hardly a new thing. They are at least as old as the Paterson Pageant of 1912, and have a rich history, especially in the 1930s and 1960s.² But the global scale of these events of the 1980s was unprecedented, and...

  11. SEVEN ACTing UP against AIDS: The (Very) Graphic Arts in a Moment of Crisis
    (pp. 179-217)

    In this chapter I explore one of the most dynamic and successful social movement groups of the late 1980s and 1990s, the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, or ACT UP. One key argument of this book—that all movement politics involves a degree ofculturalpolitics—owes much to recent activist groups like ACT UP, which have made such an insight difficult to ignore. ACT UP, as much as any movement yet invented, has made self-conscious cultural struggle part of its core work. Those of us who now see culture everywhere, even in movements from earlier centuries, owe a great...

  12. EIGHT Environmental Justice Ecocriticism: Race, Class, Gender, and Literary Ecologies
    (pp. 218-239)

    In previous chapters I have focused primarily on cultural texts and cultural formations, but my goal now is to examine an academic “intellectual formation.” By “intellectual formation” I mean a set of theories and practices stable enough to make a significant influence on social thought, primarily through academic writing and teaching. Intellectual formations arise from different social locations—from within science, industry, the arts, academe, and, not infrequently, social movements. Indeed, one strand of social movement theory argues that an important dimension of social movements is their engagement in “cognitive praxis” that changes the way we think about the world.¹...

  13. NINE Will the Revolution Be Cybercast? New Media, the Battle of Seattle, and Global Justice
    (pp. 240-285)

    A helmeted police officer kicks a young man in the groin, then shoots him pointblank with a concussion bullet. A mother pours water from a canteen to wash the pepper spray from her teenage daughter’s eyes and the blood from the gash on her head. A dozen women and men blockade an intersection by forming a human chain, their arms linked by metal tubes. Hundreds surround the intersection to protect their compatriots from assault by Darth Vader—like police with shields and clubs. Thousands of labor unionists leave behind the leaders of a planned march, turning instead to march to...

  14. TEN Reflections on the Cultural Study of Social Movements
    (pp. 286-316)

    Let me tell you a new version of an old story. Let’s call our version “Blindness, Insight, Elephants, and Sufi Social Science”:

    Once upon a time, a group of social movement theorists was on safari in search of the elephant. Their search took them out on a dark, moonless night, and they spread out across the jungle.When they returned to camp, each reported their findings. The first theorist to encounter the elephant was acollective behaviorist.He had heard an elephant charging through the jungle and, after having nearly been trampled, declared that elephants were dangerous, anarchic things, prone to...

  15. Notes
    (pp. 317-344)
  16. Index
    (pp. 345-362)
  17. Back Matter
    (pp. 363-363)