The Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Martin Luther King, Jr
Author: Adam Fairclough
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
To Redeem the Soul of America looks beyond the towering figure of Martin Luther King, Jr., to disclose the full workings of the organization that supported him. As Adam Fairclough reveals the dynamics within the Southern Christian Leadership Conference he shows how Julian Bond, Jesse Jackson, Wyatt Walker, Andrew Young, and others also played a hand in the triumphs of Selma and Birmingham and the frustrations of Albany and Chicago. Joining a charismatic leader with an inspired group of activists, the SCLC built a bridge from the black proletariat to the white liberal elite and then, finally, to the halls of Congress and the White House.
They were black and white, young and old, men and women. In the spring and summer of 1961, they put their lives on the line, riding buses through the American South to challenge segregation in interstate transport. Their story is one of the most celebrated episodes of the civil rights movement, yet a full-length history has never been written until now. In these pages, acclaimed historian Raymond Arsenault provides a gripping account of six pivotal months that jolted the consciousness of America. The Freedom Riders were greeted with hostility, fear, and violence. They were jailed and beaten, their buses stoned and firebombed. In Alabama, police stood idly by as racist thugs battered them. When Martin Luther King met the Riders in Montgomery, a raging mob besieged them in a church. Arsenault recreates these moments with heart-stopping immediacy. His tightly braided narrative reaches from the White House--where the Kennedys were just awakening to the moral power of the civil rights struggle--to the cells of Mississippi's infamous Parchman Prison, where Riders tormented their jailers with rousing freedom anthems. Along the way, he offers vivid portraits of dynamic figures such as James Farmer, Diane Nash, John Lewis, and Fred Shuttlesworth, recapturing the drama of an improbable, almost unbelievable saga of heroic sacrifice and unexpected triumph. The Riders were widely criticized as reckless provocateurs, or "outside agitators." But indelible images of their courage, broadcast to the world by a newly awakened press, galvanized the movement for racial justice across the nation. Freedom Riders is a stunning achievement, a masterpiece of storytelling that will stand alongside the finest works on the history of civil rights.
This book is a multifaceted approach to understanding the central developments in African American history since 1939. It combines a historical overview of key personalities and movements with essays by leading scholars on specific facets of the African American experience, a chronology of events, and a guide to further study. Marian Anderson's famous 1939 concert in front of the Lincoln Memorial was a watershed moment in the struggle for racial justice. Beginning with this event, the editors chart the historical efforts of African Americans to address racism and inequality. They explore the rise of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements and the national and international contexts that shaped their ideologies and methods; consider how changes in immigration patterns have complicated the conventional "black/white" dichotomy in U.S. society; discuss the often uneasy coexistence between a growing African American middle class and a persistent and sizable underclass; and address the complexity of the contemporary African American experience. Contributors consider specific issues in African American life, including the effects of the postindustrial economy and the influence of music, military service, sports, literature, culture, business, and the politics of self-designation, e.g.,"Colored" vs. "Negro," "Black" vs. "African American". While emphasizing political and social developments, this volume also illuminates important economic, military, and cultural themes. An invaluable resource, The Columbia Guide to African American History Since 1939 provides a thorough understanding of a crucial historical period.
Civil Rights and the Johnson Administration, 1965-1968
Author: David C. Carter
Publisher: UNC Press Books
After the passage of sweeping civil rights and voting rights legislation in 1964 and 1965, the civil rights movement stood poised to build on considerable momentum. In a famous speech at Howard University in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared that victory in the next battle for civil rights would be measured in "equal results" rather than equal rights and opportunities. It seemed that for a brief moment the White House and champions of racial equality shared the same objectives and priorities. Finding common ground proved elusive, however, in a climate of growing social and political unrest marked by urban riots, the Vietnam War, and resurgent conservatism. Examining grassroots movements and organizations and their complicated relationships with the federal government and state authorities between 1965 and 1968, David C. Carter takes readers through the inner workings of local civil rights coalitions as they tried to maintain strength within their organizations while facing both overt and subtle opposition from state and federal officials. He also highlights internal debates and divisions within the White House and the executive branch, demonstrating that the federal government's relationship to the movement and its major goals was never as clear-cut as the president's progressive rhetoric suggested. Carter reveals the complex and often tense relationships between the Johnson administration and activist groups advocating further social change, and he extends the traditional timeline of the civil rights movement beyond the passage of the Voting Rights Act.
Martin Luther King Jr., the World Council of Churches, and the Global Crusade Against Racism and War
Author: Thomas A. Mulhall
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
Martin Luther King Jr. is widely viewed as an American civil rights leader who applied principled and situational nonviolence in efforts to eradicate racism, poverty, and violence in the United States in the 1950s and 60s. It is too often forgotten that he was also a self-proclaimed world citizen with a global vision, and that he envisioned the advance of globalization long before most of his contemporaries. This book exposes the global King who united in spirit and practice with other world leaders and representatives of the World Council of Churches to promulgate enduring peace and human community. It brings us to a new appreciation of the global King and explains how he continues to inform our understanding of what it means to live and function in the world house.
Roy Wilkins (1901--1981) spent forty-six years of his life serving the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and led the organization for more than twenty years. Under his leadership, the NAACP spearheaded efforts that contributed to landmark civil rights legislation, including the 1964 Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act. In Roy Wilkins: The Quiet Revolutionary and the NAACP, Yvonne Ryan offers the first biography of this influential activist, as well as an analysis of his significant contributions to civil rights in America. While activists in Alabama were treading the highways between Selma and Montgomery, Wilkins was walking the corridors of power in Washington, D.C., working tirelessly in the background to ensure that the rights they fought for were protected through legislation and court rulings. With his command of congressional procedure and networking expertise, Wilkins was regarded as a strong and trusted presence on Capitol Hill, and received greater access to the Oval Office than any other civil rights leader during the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson. Roy Wilkins fills a significant gap in the history of the civil rights movement, objectively exploring the career and impact of one of its forgotten leaders. The quiet revolutionary, who spent his life navigating the Washington political system, affirmed the extraordinary and courageous efforts of the many men and women who braved the dangers of the southern streets and challenged injustice to achieve equal rights for all Americans.
Of late, religion seems to be everywhere, suffusing U.S. politics and popular culture and acting as both a unifying and a divisive force. This collection of manifestos, Supreme Court decisions, congressional testimonies, speeches, articles, book excerpts, pastoral letters, interviews, song lyrics, memoirs, and poems reflects the vitality, diversity, and changing nature of religious belief and practice in American public and private life over the last half century. Encompassing a range of perspectives, this book illustrates the ways in which individuals from all along the religious and political spectrum have engaged religion and viewed it as a crucial aspect of society. The anthology begins with documents that reflect the close relationship of religion, especially mainline Protestantism, to essential ideas undergirding Cold War America. Covering both the center and the margins of American religious life, this volume devotes extended attention to how issues of politics, race, gender, and sexuality have influenced the religious mainstream. A series of documents reflects the role of religion and theology in the civil rights, feminist, and gay rights movements as well as in conservative responses. Issues regarding religion and contemporary American culture are explored in documents about the rise of the evangelical movement and the religious right; the impact of "new" (post-1965) immigrant communities on the religious landscape; the popularity of alternative, New Age, and non-Western beliefs; and the relationship between religion and popular culture. The editors conclude with selections exploring major themes of American religious life at the millennium, including both conservative and New Age millennialism, as well as excerpts that speculate on the future of religion in the United States. The documents are grouped by theme into nine chapters and arranged chronologically therein. Each chapter features an extensive introduction providing context for and analysis of the critical issues raised by the primary sources.
Civil rights activist Septima Poinsette Clark (1898-1987) developed a citizenship education program that enabled tens of thousands of African Americans to register to vote and to link the power of the ballot to concrete strategies for individual and communal empowerment. Clark, who began her own teaching career in 1916, grounded her approach in the philosophy and practice of southern black activist educators in the decades leading up to the 1950s and 1960s, and then trained a committed cadre of grassroots black women to lead this literacy revolution in community stores, beauty shops, and churches throughout the South. In this engaging biography, Katherine Charron tells the story of Clark, from her coming of age in the South Carolina lowcountry to her activism with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in the movement's heyday. The enhanced electronic version of the book draws from archives, libraries, and the author's personal collection and includes nearly 100 letters, documents, photographs, newspaper articles, and interview excerpts, embedding each in the text where it will be most meaningful. Featuring more than 60 audio clips (more than 2.5 hours total) from oral history interviews with 15 individuals, including Clark herself, the enhanced e-book redefines the idea of the "talking book." Watch the video below to see a demonstration of the enhanced ebook: