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Race Rebels

Race Rebels

Culture, Politics, And The Black Working Class

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Many black strategies of daily resistance have been obscured--until now. Race rebels, argues Kelley, have created strategies of resistance, movements, and entire subcultures. Here, for the first time, everyday race rebels are given the historiographical attention they deserve, from the Jim Crow era to the present.
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  • Free Press | 
  • 384 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780684826394 | 
  • June 1996
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Chapter 1

Shiftless of the World Unite!

If "conspicuous consumption" was the badge of a rising middle class, "conspicuous loafing" is the hostile gesture of a tired working class.

Daniel Bell, Work and Its Discontents

All observers spoke of the fact that the slaves were slow and churlish; that they wasted material and malingered at their work. Of course they did. This was not racial but economic. It was the answer of any group of laborers forced down to the last ditch. They might be made to work continuously but no power could make them work well.

W.E.B. DuBois, Reconstruction in... see more

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