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Critical Article Review -Race, Gender, Labor in 1960's Memphis - Essay Example

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The article, written by author and University of Texas assistant professor Laurie B. Green, explores the racial and gender undertones of a Memphis sanitation strike slogan in 1968 – “I Am a Man.”…
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Critical Article Review -Race, Gender, Labor in 1960's Memphis

Download file to see previous pages... The article’s strength lies in its exploration of black men’s emasculation and their eventual “feminization” brought about by the labor and working conditions in the 1960s (Green 467). From the oral interviews, the author was able to elicit insightful responses about the gender, racial, and labor issues encountered by black men. By placing these responses side by side with a short narration of black slavery and the civil rights movement, the author clearly shows the underlying motivations of the black men who coined the slogan.
The conclusion about black women appropriating the slogan for themselves, meanwhile, extends the article’s significance in the areas of feminism and ethnicity. Not only does the article examine black men’s opinions about the slogan, but the author also includes the perspective of women which, in turn, sheds light on the values women hold in feminist studies, and their sense of identity in ethnicity studies. For women, the slogan ‘I Am a Man’ means “justice” (Green 467), an assertion of courage (Green 474), or “freedom” (Green 475). Again, the author clearly establishes the different meanings attached by black women to the slogan through the oral interviews.
The article’s lack of structure, however, weakens the conclusion and disorients the reader. There are no headings that organize the article’s main thesis and guide the reader to the introduction, literature review, findings, etc. The article flows continuously as a 25-page document without any breaks in between. In one paragraph, for instance, the author talks about the civil rights movement and then jumps into an interview of a black female in the next paragraph. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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