An Analysis Of Robin Kelley's Congested Terrain

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Political protesting within today’s society is often relegated to mass marches, social media usage, and other large acts. Unfortunately, small and simple everyday acts of protest are often overlooked or deemed useless in the long run. Sadly, this diminishes most of the protests that take place within America. However, this is not a new trend, but one that can be seen throughout American history, specifically within Jim Crow laws and segregation Deep South during World War II. Within Robin Kelley’s “Congested Terrain,” the way lower and middle-class black citizens fought for their rights to the public spaces within Birmingham Alabama are explored. Because the space in buses was much less defined that other public, segregated spaces, black…show more content…
Beyond that, she also is able to nuance the differing class divides within the community, something many other scholars fail to do. Similarly, she shows that the movement was not a large, homogeneous mix of ideas and action plans, but many people taking action on a small individual basis, every day. She is also able to address how the differing genders were able to use their unique agency to advocate for themselves, something that is often overlooked in other accounts of this time. Overall, Kelley is able to portray her thesis in both clear and concise tones, while still proving the reader with enough anecdotes that it does not merely feel like an abstract…show more content…
Both direct tactics, like refusing to move, and subversive tactics, such as cursing were used by both men and women to challenge the status quo. However, women would often use their higher class, white employers to gain more agency and make more progress. Even with the protesters, notions of class were still very important, especially with servicemen, who felt they deserved an elevated status because of their sacrifices, this resulted in them often being more emboldened than their civilian counterparts. {ADD

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