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Showdown in Desire portrays the Black Panther Party in New Orleans in 1970, a year that included a shootout with the police on Piety Street, the creation of survival programs, and the daylong standoff between the Panthers and the police in the Desire housing development. Through interviews with Malik Rahim, the Panther; Robert H. King, Panther and member of the Angola 3; Larry Preston Williams, the black policeman; Moon Landrieu, the mayor; Henry Faggen, the Desire resident; Robert Glass, the white lawyer; Jerome LeDoux, the black priest; William Barnwell, the white priest; and many others, Orissa Arend tells a nuanced story that unfolds amid guns, tear gas, desperate poverty, oppression, and inflammatory rhetoric to capture the palpable spirit of rebellion, resistance, and revolution of an incendiary summer in New Orleans.
This is the third volume in Judson L. Jeffries’s long-range effort to paint a more complete portrait of the most widely known organization to emerge from the 1960s Black Power Movement. Like its predecessors (Comrades: A Local History of the Black Panther Party [2007] and On the Ground: The Black Panther Party in Communities across America [2010]), this volume looks at Black Panther Party (BPP) activity in sites outside Oakland, the most studied BPP locale and the one long associated with oversimplified and underdeveloped narratives about, and distorted images of, the organization. The cities covered in this volume are Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, and Washington, D.C. The contributors examine official BPP branches and chapters as well as offices of the National Committee to Combat Fascism that evolved into full-fledged BPP chapters and branches. They have mined BPP archives and interviewed members to convey the daily ups-and-downs related to BPP’s social-justice activities and to reveal the diversity of rank-and-file BPP members’ personal backgrounds and the legal, political, and social skills, or baggage, that they brought to the BPP. The BPP reportedly had a presence in some forty places across the country. During this time, no other Black Power Movement organization fed as many children, provided healthcare to as many residents, educated as many adults, assisted as many senior citizens, and clothed as many people. In point of fact, no other organization of the Black Power era had as great an impact on American lives as did the BPP. Nonetheless, when Jeffries undertook this project, chapter-level scholarly investigations of the BPP were few and far between. This third book, The Black Panther Party in a City Near You, raises the number of BPP branches that Jeffries and his contributors have examined to seventeen. Contributors: Curtis Austin, Judson L. Jeffries, Charles E. Jones, Ava Kinsey, Duncan MacLaury, Sarah Nicklas, John Preusser.
Portland, Oregon, though widely regarded as a liberal bastion, also has struggled historically with ethnic diversity; indeed, the 2010 census found it to be “America’s whitest major city.” In early recognition of such disparate realities, a group of African American activists in the 1960s formed a local branch of the Black Panther Party in the city’s Albina District to rally their community and be heard by city leaders. And as Lucas Burke and Judson Jeffries reveal, the Portland branch was quite different from the more famous—and infamous—Oakland headquarters. Instead of parading through the streets wearing black berets and ammunition belts, Portland’s Panthers were more concerned with opening a health clinic and starting free breakfast programs for neighborhood kids. Though the group had been squeezed out of local politics by the early 1980s, its legacy lives on through the various activist groups in Portland that are still fighting many of the same battles. Combining histories of the city and its African American community with interviews with former Portland Panthers and other key players, this long-overdue account adds complexity to our understanding of the protracted civil rights movement throughout the Pacific Northwest.
"This is the most important book I've read about Katrina and what came after. In the tradition of Howard Zinn this could be called 'The People's History of the Storm.' Jordan Flaherty was there on the front lines."Eve Ensler, playwright of The Vagina Monologues and activist and founder of V-Day "Jordan Flaherty brings the sharp analysis and dedication of a seasoned organizer to his writing, and insightful observation to his reporting. He unfailingly has his ear to the ground in a city that continues to reveal the floodlines of structural racism in America."Tram Nguyen, author of We Are All Suspects Now: Untold Stories from Immigrant Communities after 9/11 Floodlines is a firsthand account of community, culture, and resistance in New Orleans. The book weaves the stories of gay rappers, Mardi Gras Indians, Arab and Latino immigrants, public housing residents, and grassroots activists in the years before and after Katrina. From post-Katrina evacuee camps to torture testimony at Angola Prison to organizing with the family members of the Jena Six, Floodlines tells the stories behind the headlines from an unforgettable time and place in history. Jordan Flaherty is a writer and community organizer based in New Orleans. In addition to his award-winning post-Katrina journalism, he was the first journalist with a national audience to write about the Jena Six case and played an important role in bringing the story to theattention of the world. He has produced news segments for Al-Jazeera, TeleSur, and Democracy Now! and appeared as a guest on a wide range of television and radio shows, including CNN's American Morning, Anderson Cooper 360, CNN Headline News, GRITtv, Keep Hope Alive with Reverend Jesse Jackson, and both local and nationally syndicated shows on National Public Radio.

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