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Melissa Faye Weiner
Title & Author
“They're our children, not yours!”: Citizenship and group -based identity narratives in Jewish and African American multicultural movements challenging New York City public schoolsMelissa Faye Weiner
University of Minnesota
This dissertation is a historical, comparative examination of resistance and agency by Jewish and African American activists seeking redress in the form of redistribution of resources and early multiculturalist efforts demanding recognition of group identities within New York City's public schools. I examine Jews' protest against the Gary Plan (1914-17) and to incorporate Hebrew in the curriculum (1929-48) and African Americans' efforts to include African American history in the curriculum (1946-64) and by the Harlem 9 to improve public school conditions (1956-60). This project relies on primary archival data from public records, manuscript collections from Jewish and African American community-based organizations, and contemporary newspapers and employs variety of historical sociological methods. Activists' racial identities and cultures played pivotal roles in structuring the resources, opportunities and constraints encountered by each group. All efforts directly linked group-based identities and cultures to resources in challenging NYC's racialized constraints through, what I call, multicultural social movements. Jews and African Americans drew on their particular cultures and histories to articulate politics of both difference and semblance, which reflected their cultural past and American citizenship, respectively. However, Jews and African Americans encountered different racial constraints when attempting to mobilize resulting in more grassroots and radical protests for African Americans as well as differential long-term outcomes. Implications for the study of racial and ethnic identities, social movements theory and educational history are discussed in conclusion.
Social sciences; Education; African-American; Citizenship; Group-based identity narratives; Jewish; Multicultural movements; New York City; Public schools; Bilingual education; Multicultural education; African Americans; Minority & ethnic groups; Sociology; Judaic studies; 0282:Multicultural education; 0751:Judaic studies; 0631:Sociology; 0631:Minority & ethnic groups; 0325:African Americans; 0282:Bilingual education
R. H. Aminzade, Douglas R.
University of Minnesota
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