A Different Day: African American Struggles for Justice in Rural Louisiana, 1900-1970

Synopsis

Examining African Americans' struggles for freedom and justice in rural Louisiana during the Jim Crow and civil rights eras, Greta de Jong illuminates the connections between the informal strategies of resistance that black people pursued in the early twentieth century and the mass protests that emerged in the 1950s and 1960s. Using evidence drawn from oral histories and a wide range of other sources, she demonstrates that rural African Americans were politically aware and active long before civil rights organizers arrived in the region in the 1960s to encourage voter registration and demonstrations against segregation.

De Jong explores the numerous, often-subtle methods African Americans used to resist oppression within the confines of the Jim Crow system. Such everyday forms of resistance included developing strategies for educating black children, creating strong community institutions, and fighting back against white violence. In the wake of the economic changes that swept the South duringand after World War II, these activities became more open and organized, culminating in voter registration drives and other protests conducted in cooperation with civil rights workers.

Deeply researched and accessibly written, "A Different Day spotlights the ordinary heroes of the freedom struggle and offers a new perspective on black activism throughout the twentieth century.