Best known as the man who organized the Great March on Washington in 1963, Bayard Rustin was a vital force in the civil rights movement from the 1940s through the 1980s. Rustins's activism embraced the wide range of crucial issues of his time: communism, international pacifism, and race relations.
Rustin's long activist career began with his association with A. Phillip Randolph of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. Then, as a member of A. J. Muste's Fellowship of Reconciliation, he participated in the "Journey of Reconciliation" (an early version of the "Freedom Rides" of 1961). He was a close associate of Martin Luther King in Montgomery and Atlanta and rose to prominence as organizer of the 1963 March on Washington. Rustin played a key role in applying nonviolent direct action to American race relations while rejecting the separatism of movements like Black Power in the 1960s, even at the risk of his being marginalized by the younger generation of civil rights activists. In his later years he tried to hold the civil rights coalition together and to fight for the economic changes he thought were necessary to decrease racism.
Daniel Levine has written the first scholarly biography that examines Rustin's public as well as private persona in light of his struggles as a gay black man and as an activist who followed his own principles and convictions. The result is a rich portrait of a complex, indomitable advocate for justice in American society.
The 1960s, including the black social movements of the period, are an obstacle to understanding the current conditions of African Americans, argues Clarence Lang. While Americans celebrate the current anniversaries of various black freedom milestones and the election of the first black president, the effects of neoliberalism since the 1970s have been particularly devastating to African Americans. Neoliberalism, which rejects social welfare protections in favor of individual liberty, unfettered markets, and a laissez-faire national state, has produced an environment in which people of color struggle with unstable employment, declining family income, rising household debt, increased class stratification, and heightened racial terrorism and imprisonment. The book argues that a reassessment of the Sixties and its legacies is necessary to make better sense of black community, leadership, politics, and the prospects for social change today. Combining interdisciplinary scholarship, political reportage, and personal reflection, this work sheds powerful light on the forces underlying the stark social and economic circumstances facing African Americans today, as well as the need for cautious optimism alongside sober analysis.
From legal battles to sit-ins to freedom rides to marches, activists in the United States rose up against racial discrimination in the civil rights movement. While many books have focused on the national campaign and prominent leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, this is the first book to examine the civil rights movement in the state of Tennessee.Bobby L. Lovett proposes that African Americans have always had a civil rights movement in Tennessee, even during slavery. He identifies three phases of the movement in the state—1864 to 1880, 1881 to 1934, and 1935 to the present—and focuses on the last period. Lovett explores early Jim Crow Tennessee, public school desegregation since Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, sit-in and public desegregation activities, politics and civil rights, and the desegregation of higher education. This well-researched book draws on special collections from libraries across the state, personal papers, manuscript collections, conversations, observations, books, scholarly articles, and newspapers. Lovett covers the entire state, but concentrates on the four major cities: Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis, and Nashville. There are short descriptions of local interest to bring the movement alive, as well as sketches of main players, federal judges, and more than three dozen court cases that have affected race and civil rights in Tennessee.African American and white leaders in the fight for equality in Tennessee are revealed, and Lovett relates the movement with African Americans’ pursuit of inclusion in society nationally. Tennesseans who engaged in the struggle included prominent African American figures such as civil rights attorney Avon Williams of Nashville and NAACP activist Maxine Smith of Memphis. This book fills a gap in the historical record of the civil rights movement and is an important addition to studies of the movement both in Tennessee and in the nation.Bobby L. Lovett is a professor of history at Tennessee State University. He is the author of The African-American History of Nashville, Tennessee, 1780–1930: Elites and Dilemmas and a contributor to The Southern Elite and Social Change: Essays in Honor of Willard B. Gatewood, Jr.
Collective Action and the Civil Rights Movement is a theoretical study of the dynamics of public-spirited collective action as well as a substantial study of the American civil rights movement and the local and national politics that surrounded it. In this major historical application of rational choice theory to a social movement, Dennis Chong reexamines the problem of organizing collective action by focusing on the social, psychological, and moral incentives of political activism that are often neglected by rational choice theorists. Using game theoretic concepts as well as dynamic models, he explores how rational individuals decide to participate in social movements and how these individual decisions translate into collective outcomes. In addition to applying formal modeling to the puzzling and important social phenomenon of collective action, he offers persuasive insights into the political and psychological dynamics that provoke and sustain public activism. This remarkably accessible study demonstrates how the civil rights movement succeeded against difficult odds by mobilizing community resources, resisting powerful opposition, and winning concessions from the government.
On a hot summer evening in 1958, a group of African American students in Wichita, Kansas, quietly entered Dockum's Drug Store and sat down at the whites-only lunch counter. This was the beginning of the first sustained, successful student sit-in of the modern civil rights movement, instigated in violation of the national NAACP's instructions. Based on interviews with over eighty participants and observers of this sit-in, Dissent in Wichita traces the contours of race relations and black activism in an unexpected locus of the civil rights movement, revealing that the movement was a national, not a southern, phenomenon.
Education for Liberation completes the study Dr. Richardson published in 1986 as Christian Reconstruction: The American Missionary Association and Southern Blacks, 1861-1890 by continuing the account of the American Missionary Association (AMA) from the end of Reconstruction to the post-World War II era.
Even after the optimism of Reconstruction was shattered by violence, fraud, and intimidation and the white South relegated African Americans to segregated and disfranchised second-class citizenship, the AMA never abandoned its claim that blacks were equal in God’s sight, that any “backwardness” was the result of circumstance rather than inherent inferiority, and that blacks could and should become equal citizens with other Americans. The organization went farther in recognition of black ability, humanity, and aspirations than much of 19th and 20th century white America by publicly and consistently opposing lynching, segregation, disfranchisement, and discrimination.
The AMA regarded education as the means to full citizenship for African Americans and supported scores of elementary and secondary schools and several colleges at a time when private schooling offered almost the only chance for black youth to advance beyond the elementary grades. Such AMA schools, with their interracial faculties and advocacy for basic civil rights for black citizens, were a constant challenge to southern racial norms, and trained thousands of leaders in all areas of black life.
Equal Time: Television and the Civil Rights Movement explores the crucial role of network television in reconfiguring new attitudes in race relations during the civil rights movement. Due to widespread coverage, the civil rights revolution quickly became the United States' first televised major domestic news story. This important medium unmistakably influenced the ongoing movement for African American empowerment, desegregation, and equality.
Aniko Bodroghkozy brings to the foreground network news treatment of now-famous civil rights events including the 1965 Selma voting rights campaign, integration riots at the University of Mississippi, and the March on Washington, including Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. She also examines the most high-profile and controversial television series of the era to feature African American actors--East Side/West Side, Julia, and Good Times--to reveal how entertainment programmers sought to represent a rapidly shifting consensus on what "blackness" and "whiteness" meant and how they now fit together.
The original book on the renowned Freedom quilters of Gee's Bend.
In December of 1965, the year of the Selma-to-Montgomery march, a white Episcopal priest driving through a desperately poor, primarily black section of Wilcox County found himself at a great bend of the Alabama River. He noticed a cabin clothesline from which were hanging three magnificent quilts unlike any he had ever seen. They were of strong, bold colors in original, op-art patterns—the same art style then fashionable in New York City and other cultural centers. An idea was born and within weeks took on life, in the form of the Freedom Quilting Bee, a handcraft cooperative of black women artisans who would become acclaimed throughout the nation.
"The author expertly weaves the history, the hardships of poor blacks in a downtrodden racist society and the economics of the long struggle to become self-sufficient. Callahan proves she can handle a complex, multi-charactered, significant piece of Southern history."
This collection of nine essays analyzes the people, the protests, and the incidents of the civil rights movement through the lens of gender. More than just a study of women, the book examines the ways in which assigned sexual roles and values shaped the strategy, tactics, and ideology of the movement. The essays deal with topics ranging from the Montgomery bus boycott and Rhythm and Blues to gangsta rap and contemporary fiction, from the 1950s to the 1990s. Referring to groups such as the National Council of African American Men and events such as the Million Man March, the authors address male gender identity as much as female, arguing that slave/master relations from before the Civil War continued to affect Black masculinity in the postwar battle for civil rights. Whereas feminism traditionally deals with issues of patriarchy and prescribed gender roles, this volume shows how race relations continue to complicate sex-based definitions within the civil rights movement.
Outside Agitator tells the dramatic, largely forgotten storybehind the 1965 killing of civil rights worker Jonathan Myrick "Jon" Daniels in Lowndes County, Alabama, detailing the lives of the killer and the victim. A white Episcopal seminary student from New Hampshire, Jon Daniels helped organize blacks in Selma during the events that led to the Selma-to-Montgomery march. In August 1965 he was fatally shot in neighboring Lowndes County by Tom Coleman, a highway department engineer and steadfast segregationist, who was later acquitted by an all-white jury.
Lowndes County was a bastion of white minority dominance. For half a century, no black had voted or served on a jury there. Known for the violence used by whites to maintain their control, "bloody" Lowndes presented Daniels and other civil rights workers with almost insurmountable obstacles. Tom Coleman, a Lowndes County native, represented the consensus among local whites that violent resistance to racial change was justified. To defend his community and to prevent change, he resorted to violence against "outside agitators."
Following the deaths of a score of other civil rights workers, the killing of Jon Daniels was in many ways the last atrocity of the first, southern, nonviolent phase of the Civil Rights movement. This exploration of how Daniels and Coleman came to be at opposite ends of a shotgun outside a county store captures the mechanics and emotions of forces promoting and resisting change in southern race relations. Charles Eagles reminds us that however representative Daniels and Coleman may have been of larger forces, they were nevertheless real individuals with distinctive personalities caught up in specific circumstances.
This volume collects twelve of Georgia Douglas Johnson's one-act plays, including two never-before-published scripts found in the Library of Congress. As an integral part of Washington, D.C.'s, thriving turn-of-the-century literary scene, Johnson hosted regular meetings with Harlem Renaissance writers and other artists, including Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, May Miller, and Jean Toomer, and was herself considered among the finest writers of the time. Johnson also worked for U.S. government agencies and actively supported women's and minorities' rights.
As a leading authority on Johnson, Judith L. Stephens provides a brief overview of Johnson's career and significance as a playwright; sections on the creative environment in which she worked; her S Street Salon; "The Saturday Nighters," and its significance to the New Negro Theatre; selected photographs; and a discussion of Johnson's genres, themes, and artistic techniques.
A landmark collection of previously unpublished interviews with Reform rabbis concerning their roles in the civil rights movement.
In 1966, a young rabbinical student named P. Allen Krause conducted interviews with twelve Reform rabbis from southern congregations concerning their thoughts, principles, and activities as they related to the civil rights movement. Perhaps because he was a young seminary student or more likely because the interviewees were promised an embargo of twenty-five years before the interviews would be released to the public, the rabbis were extremely candid about their opinions on and their own involvement with what was still an incendiary subject. Now, in To Stand Aside or Stand Alone: Southern Reform Rabbis and the Civil Rights Movement, their stories help elucidate a pivotal moment in time.
After a distinguished rabbinical career, Krause wrote introductions to and annotated the interviews. When Krause succumbed to cancer in 2012, Mark K. Bauman edited the manuscripts further and wrote additional introductions with the assistance of Stephen Krause, the rabbi’s son. The result is a unique volume offering insights into these rabbis’ perceptions and roles in their own words and with more depth and nuance than hitherto available. This exploration into the lives of these teachers and civic leaders is supported by important contextual information on the local communities and other rabbis, with such background information forming the basis of a demographic profile of the Reform rabbis working in the South.
The twelve rabbis whom Krause interviewed served in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Virginia, and the substance and scope of their discussions cover some of the most crucial periods in the civil rights movement. Although some have provided accounts that appeared elsewhere or have written about their experiences themselves, several new voices appear here, suggesting that more southern rabbis were active than previously thought. These men functioned within a harsh environment: rabbis’ homes, synagogues, and Jewish community centers were bombed; one rabbi, who had been beaten and threatened, carried a pistol to protect himself and his family. The views and actions of these men followed a spectrum from gradualism to activism; while several of the rabbis opposed the evils of the separate and unequal system, others made peace with it or found reasons to justify inaction. Additionally, their approaches differed from their activist colleagues in the North even more than from each other.
Within these pages, readers learn about the attitudes of the rabbis toward each other, toward their congregants, toward national Jewish organizations, and toward local leaders of black and white and Protestant and Catholic groups. Theirs are dramatic stories of frustration, cooperation, and conflict.
The civil rights movement transformed the United States in such fundamental ways that exploring it in the classroom can pose real challenges for instructors and students alike. Speaking to the critical pedagogical need to teach civil rights history accurately and effectively, this volume goes beyond the usual focus on iconic leaders of the 1950s and 1960s to examine the broadly configured origins, evolution, and outcomes of African Americans' struggle for freedom. Essays provide strategies for teaching famous and forgotten civil rights people and places, suggestions for using music and movies, frameworks for teaching self-defense and activism outside the South, a curriculum guide for examining the Black Panther Party, and more.
Books in the popular Harvey Goldberg Series provide high school and introductory college-level instructors with ample resources and strategies for better engaging students in critical, thought-provoking topics. By allowing for the implementation of a more nuanced curriculum, this is history instruction at its best. Understanding and Teaching the Civil Rights Movement will transform how the United States civil rights movement is taught.