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Non-Fiction: Politics
Unabridged   8.5 hour(s)
Publication date: 04/12/2022


Rebellion, Civil Rights, and the Paradoxical State of Black Citizenship

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Digital Download ISBN:9781696607407


A brilliant debut by lawyer and critic Hawa Allan on the paradoxical state of black citizenship in the United States.

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Product Description

The little-known and under-studied 1807 Insurrection Act was passed to give the president the ability to deploy federal military forces to fend off lawlessness and rebellion, but it soon became much more than the sum of its parts. Its power is integrally linked to the perceived threat of black American equity in what lawyer and critic Hawa Allan demonstrates is a dangerous paradox. While the Act was initially used to repress rebellion against slavery, during Reconstruction it was invoked by President Grant to quell white-supremacist uprisings in the South. During the civil rights movement, it enabled the protection of black students who attended previously segregated educational institutions. Most recently, the Insurrection Act has been the vehicle for presidents to call upon federal troops to suppress so-called "race riots" like those in Los Angeles in 1992, and for them to threaten to do so in other cases of racial justice activism.

Allan's distinctly literary voice underscores her paradigm-shifting reflections on the presence of fear and silence in history and their shadowy impact on the law. Throughout, she draws revealing insight from her own experiences as one of the only black girls in her leafy Long Island suburb, as a black lawyer at a predominantly white firm, and as a thinker about the use and misuse of appeals to law and order.


"Eloquently mixing history, autobiography, and philosophy, this powerful account sheds new light on the Black experience in America." ―Publishers Weekly Starred Review

Author Bio

Hawa Allan is an attorney and author whose work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Review of Books, Lapham's Quarterly, and the Baffler, among other publications. She lives and works in New York City.