This work documents the importance of the civil rights movement and its lasting impression on American society and culture. This revealing volume looks at the struggle for individual rights from the social historian's perspective, providing a fresh context for gauging the impact of the civil rights movement on everyday life across the full spectrum of American society. From the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case to protests against the Vietnam War to the fight for black power, Civil Rights Movement: People and Perspectives looks at events that set the stage for guaranteeing America's promise to all Americans. In eight chapters, some of the country's leading social historians analyze the most recent investigations into the civil rights era's historical context and pivotal moments. Readers will gain a richer understanding of a movement that expanded well beyond its initial focus (the treatment of African Americans in the South) to include other Americans in regions across the nation. A collection of primary source materials that give readers a look at the civil rights movement through the eyes of those who lived it 16 short "sidebar" essays that highlight important personalities and events in the history of the civil rights movement
Here is the definitive account of a dramatic and indeed pivotal moment in American history, a critical episode that transformed the civil rights movement in the early 1960s. Raymond Arsenault offers a meticulously researched and grippingly written account of the Freedom Rides, one of the most compelling chapters in the history of civil rights. Arsenault recounts how in 1961, emboldened by federal rulings that declared segregated transit unconstitutional, a group ofvolunteers--blacks and whites--traveled together from Washington DC through the Deep South, defying Jim Crow laws in buses and terminals, putting their bodies and their lives on the line for racial justice. The book paints a harrowing account of the outpouring of hatred and violence that greeted theFreedom Riders in Alabama and Mississippi. One bus was disabled by Ku Klux Klansmen, then firebombed. In Birmingham and Montgomery, mobs of white supremacists swarmed the bus stations and battered the riders with fists and clubs while local police refused to intervene. The mayhem in Montgomery wascaptured by news photographers, shocking the nation, and sparking a crisis in the Kennedy administration, which after some hesitation and much public outcry, came to the aid of the Freedom Riders. Arsenault brings the key actors in this historical drama vividly to life, with colorful portraits ofthe Kennedys, Jim Farmer, John Lewis, Diane Nash, Fred Shuttlesworth, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Their courage, their fears, and the agonizing choices made by all these individuals run through the story like an electric current. The saga of the Freedom Rides is an improbable, almost unbelievable story. In the course of six months, some four hundred and fifty Riders expanded the realm of the possible in American politics, redefining the limits of dissent and setting the stage in the years to come for the 1963Birmingham demonstrations, Freedom Summer and the Selma-to-Montgomery March. With characters and plot lines rivaling those of the most imaginative fiction, this is a tale of heroic sacrifice and unexpected triumph.
The African American struggle for freedom and equality is one of the truly heroic elements of American history. Yet even today, African Americans as a whole still don't fully share in the American dream. This encyclopedia explores the struggle's successes and setbacks, from emancipation to the beginning of the 21st century. An impressive range of subjects covers everything from W.E.B. DuBois to early legislative acts, constitutional amendments of the mid-1800s, "Black Is Beautiful," the tumultuous events of the 1960s, Al Sharpton, the Million Man March, and Adam Clayton Powell. Primary documents--personal vignettes, court cases, newspaper articles, and speeches--provide firsthand accounts and supplement the A-to-Z entries. An extensive timeline highlights key events. Revising and expanding a highly acclaimed, award-winning encyclopedia published in 1992, this book provides an invaluable resource for anyone wishing to understand the African American struggle for civil rights. This edition adds information on the past decade, updates earlier entries and all bibliographies, adds 120 primary documents, and includes a greatly expanded timeline.
The fourth publication in the award-winning, critically acclaimed Milestone Documents sereis, Milestone Documents in African American History explores the fundamental primary sources in African American history. This four-volume set covers 135 iconic primary documents from the 1600's to the present. Each entry offers the full text of the document in question as well as an in-depth, analytical essay that places the document in its historical context.
Ralph David Abernathy and Martin Luther King Jr. were inseparable and together helped to establish what would become the modern American Civil Rights Movement. They preached, marched, and were frequently jailed together. Donzaleigh Abernathy, Ralph’s youngest daughter, has writtenPartners to Historyas a testament to the courage, strength, and endurance of these men who stirred a nation with their moral fortitude. She also pays tribute to the thousands of unsung heroes—the other partners to this history—who were foot soldiers in the endless struggle for freedom, justice, and equality. This document captures in words and pictures how the dream of two visionaries changed the course of American history and inspired the world. Partners to Historyis a unique look at a troubling time, and its usage of dramatic—and personal—photographs, combined with the voices of King and Abernathy, seamlessly conveys the fears, frustrations, and pain of the long days and nights spent planning the many crusades. Donzaleigh Abernathy’s recollections provide personal insight from someone who lived through the tumult and witnessed firsthand the relationship of these lifelong friends. “People didn’t know Daddy and Uncle Martin,” she writes. “They know the legends. They don’t know the fathers, the husbands, the men, the human beings. I feel obliged to tell the beautiful stories of these beautiful men I lived with and loved.” Chronicling the crucial events of the movement, from the early strategy sessions in the homes of integrationists and the Montgomery Bus Boycott to Birmingham, the Freedom Riders, and the March on Washington, the author provides a unique insider’s perspective. With heart-wrenching precision, she lays bare the horrifying deaths of four little girls in the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church and follows the search for three murdered civil rights workers in Philadelphia, Mississippi. She goes behind the scenes to the intimate moments and reveals the determination of two families caught up in the fight for equal rights. King and Abernathy believed in a cause and laid their lives on the line time and time again, knowing deep in their hearts that they were working not only for their people, but for the good of all humankind. When, on April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, Ralph David Abernathy vowed to persevere and continue their dream, knowing that people could not be free until the walls came tumbling down. Inspirational and beautifully illustrated,Partners to Historyreveals the remarkable relationship between two great leaders and serves as a reminder and tribute to this tumultuous era.
The Black Panther Party has been at once the most maligned and most celebrated Black Power organization, and this study explores the party's origins in the tumultuous history of race relations in the San Francisco Bay Area after the Second World War. The massive influx of African American migrants into the Bay Area during the war years upset the racial status quo that the white majority and tiny black minority had carefully crafted and maintained for more than a century. This realignment of racial boundaries strained relations between whites and blacks, and the postwar crises of black unemployment, inadequate housing, segregated schools, and police brutality produced in the Bay Area a virtual race war that culminated in the black revolution of the 1960s. Despite the attempts of moderate African American leaders to push for civil rights and black equality in the 1950s and 1960s, a new generation of militants came to the fore in the 1960s. Emerging from the direct-action protests of the Congress of RacialEquality and the Community Action Programs of the War on Poverty, this new radical leadership agitated for black self-determination and trumpeted black pride and self-sufficiency. From this maelstrom sprang the Black Panther Party, led by two ghetto toughs whose families had fled Dixie for the promised land of California during the Second World War. These prophets of rage would transform the nature of African American protest, change the character of domestic policy, and redefine the meaning of blackness in America. Also inlcludes maps.
This book tells the remarkable story of Robert F. Williams_one of the most influential black activists of the generation that toppled Jim Crow and forever altered the arc of American history. In the late 1950s, as president of the Monroe, North Carolina, branch of the NAACP, Williams and his followers used machine guns, dynamite, and Molotov cocktails to confront Klan terrorists. Advocating "armed self-reliance" by blacks, Williams challenged not only white supremacists but also Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights establishment. Forced to flee during the 1960s to Cuba_where he broadcast "Radio Free Dixie," a program of black politics and music that could be heard as far away as Los Angeles and New York City_and then China, Williams remained a controversial figure for the rest of his life. Historians have customarily portrayed the civil rights movement as a nonviolent call on America's conscience_and the subsequent rise of Black Power as a violent repudiation of the civil rights dream. But Radio Free Dixie reveals that both movements grew out of the same soil, confronted the same predicaments, and reflected the same quest for African American freedom. As Robert Williams's story demonstrates, independent black political action, black cultural pride, and armed self-reliance operated in the South in tension and in tandem with legal efforts and nonviolent protest.
The struggle for racial equality in the North has been a footnote in most books about civil rights in America. Now this monumental new work from one of the most brilliant historians of his generation sets the record straight.Sweet Land of Libertyis an epic, revelatory account of the abiding quest for justice in states from Illinois to New York, and of how the intense northern struggle differed from and was inspired by the fight down South. Thomas Sugrue’s panoramic view sweeps from the 1920s to the present–more than eighty of the most decisive years in American history. He uncovers the forgotten stories of battles to open up lunch counters, beaches, and movie theaters in the North; the untold history of struggles against Jim Crow schools in northern towns; the dramatic story of racial conflict in northern cities and suburbs; and the long and tangled histories of integration and black power. Appearing throughout these tumultuous tales of bigotry and resistance are the people who propelled progress, such as Anna Arnold Hedgeman, a dedicated churchwoman who in the 1930s became both a member of New York’s black elite and an increasingly radical activist; A. Philip Randolph, who as America teetered on the brink of World War II dared to threaten FDR with a march on Washington to protest discrimination–and got the Fair Employment Practices Committee (“the second Emancipation Proclamation”) as a result; Morris Milgram, a white activist who built the Concord Park housing development, the interracial answer to white Levittown; and Herman Ferguson, a mild-mannered New York teacher whose protest of a Queens construction site led him to become a key player in the militant Malcolm X’s movement. Filled with unforgettable characters and riveting incidents, and making use of information and accounts both public and private, such as the writings of obscure African American journalists and the records of civil rights and black power groups,Sweet Land of Libertycreates an indelible history. Thomas Sugrue has written a narrative bound to become the standard source on this essential subject.
Covers African American history in more than 130 documents; examples include speeches, articles, mission statements, ephemera, testimony, letters, sermons, prayers, spirituals/songs, slave narratives, memoirs, essays, interviews, and more.