Remembered as an era of peace and prosperity, turn-of-the-millennium America was also a time of mass protest. But the political demands of the marchers seemed secondary to an urgent desire for renewal and restoration felt by people from all walks of life. Drawing on thousands of personal testimonies, Deborah Gray White explores how Americans sought better ways of living in, and dealing with, a rapidly changing world. From the Million Man, Million Woman, and Million Mom Marches to the Promise Keepers and LGBT protests, White reveals a people lost in their own country. Mass gatherings offered a chance to bond with like-minded others against a relentless tide of loneliness and isolation. By participating, individuals opened a door to self-discovery that energized their quests for order, autonomy, personal meaning, and fellowship in a society that seemed hostile to such deeper human needs. Moving forward in time, White also shows what marchers found out about themselves and those gathered around them. The result is an eye-opening reconsideration of a defining time in contemporary America.
About the Author
Deborah Gray White is Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of history at Rutgers University. Her books include Too Heavy A Load: Black Women in Defense of Themselves, 1894-1994, Let My People Go: African Americans 1804-1860, and Ar'n't I a Woman?: Female Slaves in the Plantation South.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Searching for Identity 1
Chapter 1 A New-Age Search for Order 7
Chapter 2 Looking for a Few Good Men: The Transformation of Manhood 30
Chapter 3 Standing By Their Men: What Promise Keeper and Million Man March Women Wanted 72
Chapter 4 The Fierce Urgency of Unity: The Advent of Post-Blackness 99
Chapter 5 Things Fall Apart; the LGBT Center Holds 125
Chapter 6 Guns and Motherhood: A Millennial Maternalism 157
Epilogue: Reflections on Marches, Identity, Intersectionality, and Postmodernity 182