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Battling the Plantation MentalityMemphis and the Black Freedom Struggle$
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Laurie B. Green

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780807831069

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807888872_green

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Night Train, Freedom Train: Black Youth and Racial Politics in the Early Cold War

Night Train, Freedom Train: Black Youth and Racial Politics in the Early Cold War

(p.112) 4 Night Train, Freedom Train: Black Youth and Racial Politics in the Early Cold War
Battling the Plantation Mentality

Laurie B. Green

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the politicization of young African Americans in Memphis in the early Cold War period and its intersection with the Freedom Train controversy and the 1948 elections. Focusing on the students at LeMoyne College, it looks at black youth's efforts to carve out identities for themselves as leaders in the “fight for freedom” by insisting on the eradication of racial injustice, along with their efforts to distinguish themselves from older black leaders, including those at the helm of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's Memphis chapter. The chapter also considers how the idea of freedom connected blacks with the historical legacy of slavery and emancipation, and finally, describes the impact of the Freedom Train controversy on the 1948 elections in Memphis.

Keywords:   politicization, African Americans, Memphis, Freedom Train, elections, students, LeMoyne College, black youth, freedom, racial injustice

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