Baldwin, Racial Melancholy, and the Black Middle Ground
This article uses Baldwin’s 1949 essay “Everybody’s Protest Novel” to consider that literary mode’s corollary in the 1990s New Black Cinema. It argues that recent African American movies posit an alternative to the politics and aesthetics of films by a director such as Spike Lee, one that evinces a set of qualities Baldwin calls for in his essay about Black literature. Among these are what recent scholars such as Ann Anlin Cheng have called racial melancholy or what Kevin Quashie describes as Black “quiet,” as well as variations on Yogita Goyal’s diaspora romance. Films such as Barry Jenkins’s adaptation of If Beale Street Could Talk (2018) and Joe Talbot and Jimmy Fails’s The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) offer a cinematic version of racial narrative at odds with the protest tradition I associate with earlier Black directors, a newly resonant cinema that we might see as both a direct and an indirect legacy of Baldwin’s views on African American culture and politics.
Notable protests: Respectable resistance
(coups de gueule polis)
In occupied France and Belgium, notables frequently protested against
German demands and policies.1 I suggest a new conceptual category
to explain and examine such behaviour: ‘respectable resistance’. This
potentially oxymoronic term is a reconfiguration and extension of what
is sometimes called ‘municipal resistance’ or ‘administrative resistance’
in the context of the Second World War.2 Other historians of occupied France and Belgium in 1914–18 variously describe such behaviour as
The crucial point about the impact of the politics of
colonial masculinity was that even as it produced a complicity between
colonial interests and indigenous orthodoxy, it obscured the colonial
role in nurturing the indigenous orthodoxy. The result was that colonial
masculinity not only discouraged support for reform, but, even more
crucially, it underwrote the very protest against social reform
This book is a wide-ranging survey of the development of mass movements for democracy and workers’ rights in northern England. It surveys movements throughout the whole period, from the first working-class radical societies of the 1790s to trade unions in the 1830s and Chartists and Owenite socialists in the 1840s. It offers a provocative narrative of the privatisation of public space and workers’ dispossession from place, with parallels for contemporary debates about protests in public space and democracy and anti-globalisation movements. Space and place are central to the strategies and meaning of protest. The book examines the reaction by governments and local authorities, who sought to restrict public and private political meetings, demonstrations and marches. It charts the physical and symbolic conflicts over who had the right to speak and meet in northern England. The Peterloo Massacre of 1819 marked a particularly significant turning point in the relationship between government, local elites and the working classes. Radicals, organised labour and Chartists fought back by challenging their exclusion from public spaces, creating their own sites and eventually constructing their own buildings. They looked to new horizons, including America. This book also examines the relationship of protesters with place. Rural resistance, including enclosure riots, arson and machine-breaking during Luddism in 1812 and the Captain Swing agitation of the early 1830s, demonstrated communities’ defence of their landscape as a place of livelihood and customary rights.
This book draws on original research into women’s workplace protest to deliver a new account of working-class women’s political identity and participation in post-war England. In doing so, the book contributes a fresh understanding of the relationship between feminism, workplace activism and trade unionism during the years 1968–85. The study covers a period that has been identified with the ‘zenith’ of trade union militancy. The women’s liberation movement (WLM) also emerged in this period, which produced a shift in public debates about gender roles and relations in the home and the workplace. Industrial disputes involving working-class women have been commonly understood as evidence of women’s growing participation in the labour movement, and as evidence of the influence of second-wave feminism on working-class women’s political consciousness. However, the voices and experiences of female workers who engaged in workplace protest remain largely unexplored. The book addresses this space through detailed analysis of four industrial disputes that were instigated by working-class women. It shows that labour force participation was often experienced or viewed as a claim to political citizenship in late modern England. A combination of oral history and written sources is used to illuminate how everyday experiences of gender and class antagonism shaped working-class women’s political identity and participation.
recurring forms of protest have marked the more than a decade since the
2008 economic crash in Ireland. From household-centred contestations of
housing taxes and water charges, to demonstrations and marches on issues
such as austerity, asylum policy, homelessness, marriage equality and
women’s bodily autonomy, Irish citizens have aired their
YouTube, sousveillance and the policing of the flag protests
In a press conference on 18 November 2013, PSNI Detective Superintendent (DS) Sean Wright confirmed that there had been 440 arrests, and a further 560 people reported to the Public Prosecution Service, as a result of the two police investigations into the flag protests that took place between December 2012 and March 2013. Operations Dulcet and Titan saw PSNI officers analyse 1,500 images obtained from nearly 1,800 hours of CCTV footage in order to identify those suspected of engaging in criminal or antisocial behaviour. 1 Nevertheless, critics argued that the
group joining, and suggests a broader malaise in contemporary political citizenship. It could easily support the argument that group life is atrophying because contemporary social forces conspire against collective association. This chapter addresses this broad outlook by way of engaging with a specific thread in the group literature around the development and significance of so-called ‘protest businesses’ in the UK. Using group case study histories from UK groups that have been associated with the term ‘protest business’, the chapter argues that these groups are not
Embodied spaces and violent protest
The 1830s were the ‘age of reform’. The 1832 Reform Act, the 1833
Factory Act, the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act, the 1835 Municipal
Corporations Act and the 1839 Rural Constabulary Act, and other
legislation, created new institutions that became foci of contestation.
The factory and poor law commissions, new boroughs, corporations
and police embodied in power and place the new Whig-liberal regime.
Historians have tended to regard the campaigns against these acts separately, but radicals, Tories and aristocratic Whigs framed
This book is comprised of over 200 translated sources related to popular protest in Italy, France and Flanders from 1245 to 1424 . In particular, it focuses on the ‘contagion of rebellion' from 1355 to 1382 that followed in the wake of the plague. They comprise a diversity of sources and cover a variety of forms of popular protest in different social, political and economic settings. Their authors range across a wide political and intellectual horizon and include revolutionaries, the artistocracy, merchants and representatives from the church. They tell gripping and often gruesome stories of personal and collective violence, anguish, anger, terror, bravery, and foolishness. The book documents the best-known revolt in France before the French Revolution, the Jacquerie. The book also focuses on the best known of the urban revolts of the fourteenth century, the Revolt of the Ciompi, which set off with a constitutional conflict in June 1378. It then views the 'cluster of revolts' of northern France and Flanders, 1378 to 1382, concentrating on the most important of these, the tax revolts of the Harelle in Rouen and the Maillotins or hammer men in Paris. It looks beyond the 'cluster' to the early fifteenth century.