Platform for Change: THe Foundations of the Northern Free Black Community, 1775-1865.Harry Red. Platform for Change: The Foundations of the Northern Free Black Community, 1775-1865. East Lansing East Lansing, city (1990 pop. 50,677), Ingham co., S central Mich., a suburb of Lansing, on the Red Cedar River; inc. 1907. The city was first known as College Park, but was renamed when it was incorporated. : Michigan State UP, 1994. 264 pp. $29.95.
Shane White University of Sydney The University of Sydney, established in Sydney in 1850, is the oldest university in Australia. It is a member of Australia's "Group of Eight" Australian universities that are highly ranked in terms of their research performance.
According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Harry Reed there was, between the American Revolution American Revolution, 1775–83, struggle by which the Thirteen Colonies on the Atlantic seaboard of North America won independence from Great Britain and became the United States. It is also called the American War of Independence. and the Civil War, a "momentous transformation" in the lives of Northern free blacks, a transformation made possible by the "conscious melding of five elements five elements,
n.pl fire, water, earth, wood, and metal; in Chinese medicine, each of these five components is used to organize phenomena for use in clinical applications. Each of the elements corresponds to a specific function (i.e. " - "the independent church impulse, the founding of organizations, the creation of black newspapers, the convention movement, and the ideology of emigration emigration: see immigration; migration. ." Together, these elements constituted the "platform for change" of the book's title, a platform on which a "transformation of black consciousness from an individual/personalized response to an organized community model of new black awareness" was subsequently built. Each of these five elements is considered in a separate chapter, and there is, as well, an introduction and a conclusion.
The blurb blurb
A brief publicity notice, as on a book jacket.
[Coined by Gelett Burgess (1866-1951), American humorist.]
blurb v. on the book jacket Noun 1. book jacket - a paper jacket for a book; a jacket on which promotional information is usually printed
dust cover, dust jacket, dust wrapper
jacket - an outer wrapping or casing; "phonograph records were sold in cardboard jackets" suggests that Platform for Change "challenges prevailing ideas about the passivity of African Americans African American Multiculture A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. See Race. in the antebellum North." But this statement is incorrect on two counts: First, it unfairly characterizes the work of numerous historians, from Leon Litwack on, who have written about the subject, and, second, Reed does not so much challenge the existing historiography historiography
Writing of history, especially that based on the critical examination of sources and the synthesis of chosen particulars from those sources into a narrative that will stand the test of critical methods. as almost completely ignore it. That need not necessarily be a fatal flaw, but in this case it is difficult not to conclude that Leon Litwack's now classic North of Slavery (1961), which is barely mentioned in Platform [or Change, deals with the subject in a much more comprehensive and convincing way.
Platform for Change is a relatively old-fashioned book about black leaders in the North and their role in creating the "black community." Although the label community is used a lot, the term is never analyzed - it is a pity that Clarence Walker's sharp critique, in Deromanticizing Black History (1991), of the use of the word community was not taken into account. Almost inevitably such a view of history renders ordinary African Americans living in Northern cities as ciphers, following the instructions of their leaders. Much of the recent writing on African Northerners by Gary Nash, Jean Soderlund, Jeffrey Bolster, William Piersen, Graham Hodges, and others convincingly shows how mistaken this view is.
Both the writing and the style of argument make this book very difficult to read. I had quibbles and reservations about the arguments on almost every page - here, one small example will suffice. On page 65 Reed claims that it is an "inescapable conclusion" that the annual lodge speeches in the late eighteenth century were "meant for general black consumption." The "fact that they were published in runs larger than lodge membership attests not only to their general appeal but also to the acceptance by blacks that the oration was projecting a black viewpoint. It also demonstrates literacy in black America." Unfortunately, neither in the text nor the notes does the author produce a single circulation figure (such figures are notoriously difficult to establish), nor does he show that blacks actually purchased the speeches, or explain the jump between purchase and acceptance of a black viewpoint - let alone reveal how any of this demonstrates "literacy in black America," whatever that might mean.
Reed has not been served well by his press. Typographical errors are rife, errors that could never have passed a spellcheck. Minor, sloppy mistakes have gone by unnoticed: For example, Lawrence Levine's Black Culture and Black Consciousness (1977) is variously described as being published in 1972 and 1970, and in both instances the title is reproduced incorrectly. The author's prose also needed a much stronger editorial hand: There are too many opaque sentences and too many unfortunate word combinations - such as "incremental Additional or increased growth, bulk, quantity, number, or value; enlarged.
Incremental cost is additional or increased cost of an item or service apart from its actual cost. triumphs" and "new innovation."