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The Texture—Gendered, Sexual, Violent—of James Baldwin’s Southern Silences
Ed Pavlić

Spurred on by Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Nickel Boys (2019), which is set in Tallahassee, FL, during the 1950s and 1960s, this essay presents a close-up look at James Baldwin’s visit to Tallahassee in May 1960. Moving between Baldwin’s writings about the South, especially “They Can’t Turn Back,” published by Mademoiselle magazine in August 1960, and subsequent writing about the movement in Tallahassee, and checking off against Whitehead’s fictional treatment, we find a lattice of silences obscuring the names and contributions of Black women. Most importantly, we find that the historic case of the rape of Betty Jean Owens in May 1959, and the subsequent trial that summer, appears neither in Baldwin’s nor Whitehead’s writing about Tallahassee at the time. This essay establishes the missing names of Black women in the places marked and unmarked by Baldwin in his work at the time, and puts the case of Betty Jean Owens on the historical map where it belongs. In so doing, we figure issues of race, gender, sex, and violence for the ways they twist together, ways suppressed in historical (and even some contemporary) writing, ways crucial to our deepening consideration of Baldwin’s work and the history which he drew upon and to which he contributed so profoundly.

James Baldwin Review
Open Access (free)
Environmental justice and citizen science in a post-truth age
Editors: and

This book examines the relationship between environmental justice and citizen science, focusing on enduring issues and new challenges in a post-truth age. Debates over science, facts, and values have always been pivotal within environmental justice struggles. For decades, environmental justice activists have campaigned against the misuses of science, while at the same time engaging in community-led citizen science. However, post-truth politics has threatened science itself. This book makes the case for the importance of science, knowledge, and data that are produced by and for ordinary people living with environmental risks and hazards. The international, interdisciplinary contributions range from grassroots environmental justice struggles in American hog country and contaminated indigenous communities, to local environmental controversies in Spain and China, to questions about “knowledge justice,” citizenship, participation, and data in citizen science surrounding toxicity. The book features inspiring studies of community-based participatory environmental health and justice research; different ways of sensing, witnessing, and interpreting environmental injustice; political strategies for seeking environmental justice; and ways of expanding the concepts and forms of engagement of citizen science around the world. While the book will be of critical interest to specialists in social and environmental sciences, it will also be accessible to graduate and postgraduate audiences. More broadly, the book will appeal to members of the public interested in social justice issues, as well as community members who are thinking about participating in citizen science and activism. Toxic Truths includes distinguished contributing authors in the field of environmental justice, alongside cutting-edge research from emerging scholars and community activists.

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This is the first book-length study of one of the most significant of all British television writers, Jimmy McGovern. The book provides comprehensive coverage of all his work for television including early writing on Brookside, major documentary dramas such as Hillsborough and Sunday and more recent series such as The Street and Accused.

Whilst the book is firmly focused on McGovern’s own work, the range of his output over the period in which he has been working also provides something of an overview of the radical changes in television drama commissioning that have taken place during this time. Without compromising his deeply-held convictions McGovern has managed to adapt to an ever changing environment, often using his position as a sought-after writer to defy industry trends.

The book also challenges the notion of McGovern as an uncomplicated social realist in stylistic terms. Looking particularly at his later work, a case is made for McGovern employing a greater range of narrative approaches, albeit subtly and within boundaries that allow him to continue to write for large popular audiences.

Finally it is worth pointing to the book’s examination of McGovern’s role in recent years as a mentor to new voices, frequently acting as a creative producer on series that he part-writes and part brings through different less-experienced names.


This book recounts the little-known history of the mixed-race children born to black American servicemen and white British women during the Second World War. Of the three million American soldiers stationed in Britain from 1942 to 1945, about 8 per cent (240,000) were African-American; the latter’s relationships with British women resulted in the birth of an estimated 2,000 babies. The African-American press named these children ‘brown babies’; the British called them ‘half-castes’. Black GIs, in this segregated army, were forbidden to marry their white girlfriends. Up to half of the mothers of these babies, faced with the stigma of illegitimacy and a mixed-race child, gave their children up for adoption. The outcome for these children tended to be long-term residency in children’s homes, sometimes followed by fostering and occasionally adoption, but adoption societies frequently would not take on ‘coloured’ children, who were thought to be ‘too hard to place’. There has been minimal study of these children and the difficulties they faced, such as racism in a (then) very white Britain, lack of family or a clear identity. Accessibly written and illustrated with numerous photographs, this book presents the stories of over forty of these children. While some of the accounts of early childhood are heart-breaking, there are also many uplifting narratives of finding American fathers and gaining a sense of self and of heritage.

Open Access (free)
The Algerian war and the ‘emancipation’ of Muslim women, 1954–62

In May 1958, and four years into the Algerian War of Independence, a revolt again appropriated the revolutionary and republican symbolism of the French Revolution by seizing power through a Committee of Public Safety. This book explores why a repressive colonial system that had for over a century maintained the material and intellectual backwardness of Algerian women now turned to an extensive programme of 'emancipation'. After a brief background sketch of the situation of Algerian women during the post-war decade, it discusses the various factors contributed to the emergence of the first significant women's organisations in the main urban centres. It was only after the outbreak of the rebellion in 1954 and the arrival of many hundreds of wives of army officers that the model of female interventionism became dramatically activated. The French military intervention in Algeria during 1954-1962 derived its force from the Orientalist current in European colonialism and also seemed to foreshadow the revival of global Islamophobia after 1979 and the eventual moves to 'liberate' Muslim societies by US-led neo-imperialism in Afghanistan and Iraq. For the women of Bordj Okhriss, as throughout Algeria, the French army represented a dangerous and powerful force associated with mass destruction, brutality and rape. The central contradiction facing the mobile socio-medical teams teams was how to gain the trust of Algerian women and to bring them social progress and emancipation when they themselves were part of an army that had destroyed their villages and driven them into refugee camps.

Politico-economies of Slavery, Indentured Labour and Debt Peonage
Mark Harvey

history. The themes of the four sections are as follows: the nature and centrality of slavery and forced labour to the UK industrial revolution and the contrasting trajectories of UK-Caribbean and US-Deep South slavery; the different transitions from slavery to indentured labour and debt peonage and the political emancipation from slavery and indentured labour; the hybridity and heterogeneity of political economies of labour; the epistemological suppression and containment of slavery, and the abstracted capitalist market economy. The nature and centrality of slavery to

in Inequality and Democratic Egalitarianism
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Max Silverman

celebrated as one of the inspirations to the Black Power movement in America in the 1960s and, more recently, established as an icon of theorists of cultural and postcolonial studies in the anglophone academy and absorbed into their more textual preoccupations with identity and sexual and racial politics.2 Macey also criticises the way in which the American translation of Peau noire in 1967 dislocates Fanon from a francophone context and, through mistranslation, transforms him into the archetypal Negro from the American deep south. Many readers of Peau noire in English

in Frantz Fanon’s 'Black Skin, White Masks
Mark Harvey

. The price of labour was transformed beyond recognition in a developing, and distinctively British, multi-modal political economy. Wages no longer just paid for commodities in a closed-circuit system of exchange and reproduction of labour-power. In parallel to the new forms of coerced wage labour developing in metropolitan Britain during the nineteenth century, the industrial revolution not only benefited from, and developed with, modern capitalist forms of slavery in its own colonies but drove the massive expansion of slavery in the Deep South of the United States

in Inequality and Democratic Egalitarianism
Matthew Spooner

Press, 2004), esp. pp. 99–102; see also C. L. R. James, The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution (New York: Random House, 1968). Although Professor Schama is correct that slave trade abolition did not attract much serious notice – in part because of sectional divisions and the lack of state power necessary for enforcement – the self-sustaining slave population of the Upper South was the larger reason. By the time the trade was abolished in 1808, slaveholders in the expanding Deep South were able to obtain the slaves they needed from

in Religion and rights
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Matt Treacy

: History as Text and Discourse (Cambridge 1995). Robert Perks and Alistair Thomson, The Oral History Reader (London 2006). Stephen Yeo, ‘Whose Story? An Argument from within Current Historical Practice in Britain’, Journal of Contemporary History Vol. 21, April 1996. Ronald Fraser, Blood of Spain (New York 1979), and Howell Raines, My Soul Is Rested: Movement Days in the Deep South Remembered (Putnam 1977). Taylor (1997), p. 30, Geraghty (2000), p. 12, English (2006), Mary Daly and Margaret O’Callaghan, 1916 in 1966: Commemorating the Easter Rising (Dublin 2007). O

in The IRA 1956–69