African American Historiography:

            Construct an 8-10 page (typed, double-spaced) paper that offers a historiography of four books.  One of the four books will be Sullivan’s Days of Hope, but the other three will be selected by you from the list of books in EITHER group A or B.

Before you write the historiography, you should devise a question that allows you to put these four books into conversation with one another.  As a historiography, the paper considers the interpretations put forth by the authors on a single topic, comparing their methodologies, theses, sources, and/or structures.  The question will enable you to focus the comparison so that it coheres, with an argument that is threaded through the comparison.

The attached explanation of historiography may help clarify what is expected of these this type of paper.


The Great Depression




Patricia Sullivan, Days of Hope: Race and Democracy in the New Deal Era. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996.


Choose three additional readings from either Group A OR Group B:


Group A:

Biondi, Martha. To Stand and Fight: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Postwar New York

         City. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2003.


Dillard, Angela. Faith in the City: Preaching Radical Social Change in Detroit. Ann Arbor:

University of Michigan Press, 2007.


Gellman, Erik.  Death Blow to Jim Crow:  The National Negro Congress and the Rise of Militant Civil Rights.  Chapel Hill:  University of North Carolina Press, 2012.


Gilmore, Glenda. Defying Dixie: The Radical Roots of Civil Rights, 1919-1950. New York:

W.W. Norton, 2008.


Honey, Michael K. Southern Labor and Black Civil Rights: Organizing Memphis Workers.

Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1993.


Group B:

Kelley, Robin D. G. Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists during the Great Depression.

(Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1990.


Korstad, Robert Rodgers. Civil Rights Unionism: Tobacco Workers and the Struggle for

         Democracy in the Mid-Twentieth-Century South. Chapel Hill: University of North

Carolina Press, 2003.


Meier, August Meier and Elliott Rudwick. Black Detroit and the Rise of

the UAW. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2007 (original 1979).


Phillips, Kimberley L. AlabamaNorth: African-American Migrants, Community, and Working-Class Activism in Cleveland, 1915-1945. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1999.


Sitkoff, Harvard. A New Deal for Blacks: The Emergence of Civil Rights as a National

         Issue. New York: Oxford University Press, 1978.


Woodruff, Nan. American Congo: The African American Freedom Struggle in the Delta. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2003.

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