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I Am A Man By Steve Estes Book Review

908 words - 4 pages

I Am a Man by Steve Estes has been an incredible read; it is a book that I would recommend to anybody who loves to read, and also interested in Civil Rights. Steve Estes does an awesome job with the organization, and details of this book. This book starts in 1968 with black workers in Memphis protesting about low wages, horrible working conditions, and horrible treatments. These workers wanted higher pay to support their families and to establish a union. They started a declaration “I Am a Man!” as their motto. Estes states that the strikers chose this motto because “manhood” was more than what it seemed a long tradition that started from the days of slavery. On (page 4), this strike known ...view middle of the document...

Each chapter builds one another up that leads to the progression of the 1960’s. One group that was interesting to me was the Black Panthers Party. The Black Panthers never learned the consequences of masculine posture, which different strategies they could of learned from the White Citizens Council and the other massive campaigns of the 1950s. In chapter two, Estes explains the role of manhood and also the importance of dynamics of resistance. The leaders of the White Citizens Council wanted to preserve segregation and keep white women and children from “racial mixing”. On (page 40) Estes states that, “the councils created hysteria in the South that promoted horrible violence in the defense of segregation”.
As a reader, one of the things that stood out to me was the author’s text being very similar to the language used by the white citizens' council members, the SCLC, the Nation of Islam, and also the Black Panthers. Each group fought to change and fix the privileges of American ways. Each group had its own unique way and strategies of fixing things. White citizens' councils looked for the white upper and middle class over blacks and the increase of white supporters of the privilege. These acts of violence were directed against civil rights activists,workers and also their supporters. Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam used a certain puritan code of behavior, a religious message, and a non-white message of spiritual newness to change and convert criminals, pimps, and drug dealers and other urban African Americans that were left out of America’s after war lifestyle...

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