Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
An Unseen LightBlack Struggles for Freedom in Memphis, Tennessee$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Aram Goudsouzian and Charles W. McKinney Jr.

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780813175515

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813175515.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use (for details see www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 21 April 2019



(p.1) Introduction
An Unseen Light

Aram Goudsouzian

Charles W. McKinney Jr.

University Press of Kentucky

The introduction opens with Richard Wright, adrift and morose amidst the vagaries of Jim Crow Memphis, and pans back to examine the political and social circumstances of the segregated city, from blues music on Beale Street to the vice trade to the Crump machine. It later skips to Martin Luther King, delivering his majestic “Mountaintop” speech at Mason Temple on the eve of his assassination, proclaiming that “something is happening in Memphis,” rallying the masses for an unprecedented political mobilization. But the introduction asks us to consider “unseen lights”—the people, movements, and narratives that sustained a longer, broader movement for black freedom in Memphis. The city’s African American history is more than blues music and Martin Luther King, though it is those things, too. As the introduction argues, African American politics and culture in Memphis are only now beginning to gain the sustained attention of a body of scholars, as reflected in this landmark collection of essays.

Keywords:   Memphis, Jim Crow, Beale Street, Martin Luther King, Richard Wright

Kentucky Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .