Let The People Decide

Author: J. Todd Moye
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 0807876704
Size: 44.13 MB
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In the middle of the Mississippi Delta lies rural, black-majority Sunflower County. J. Todd Moye examines the social histories of civil rights and white resistance movements in Sunflower, tracing the development of organizing strategies in separate racial communities over four decades. Sunflower County was home to both James Eastland, one of the most powerful reactionaries in the U.S. Senate in the twentieth century, and Fannie Lou Hamer, the freedom-fighting sharecropper who rose to national prominence as head of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. Sunflower was the birthplace of the Citizens' Council, the white South's pre-eminent anti-civil rights organization, but it was also a hotbed of SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) organizing and a fountainhead of freedom culture. Using extensive oral history interviews and archival research, Moye situates the struggle for democracy in Sunflower County within the context of national developments in the civil rights movement. Arguing that the civil rights movement cannot be understood as a national monolith, Moye reframes it as the accumulation of thousands of local movements, each with specific goals and strategies. By continuing the analysis into the 1980s, Let the People Decide pushes the boundaries of conventional periodization, recognizing the full extent of the civil rights movement.

Mississippi Praying

Author: Carolyn Renée Dupont
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814724086
Size: 27.15 MB
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Winner of the 2013 Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer Prize presented by the American Society of Church History Mississippi Praying examines the faith communities at ground-zero of the racial revolution that rocked America. This religious history of white Mississippians in the civil rights era shows how Mississippians’ intense religious commitments played critical, rather than incidental, roles in their response to the movement for black equality. During the civil rights movement and since, it has perplexed many Americans that unabashedly Christian Mississippi could also unapologetically oppress its black population. Yet, as Carolyn Renée Dupont richly details, white southerners’ evangelical religion gave them no conceptual tools for understanding segregation as a moral evil, and many believed that God had ordained the racial hierarchy. Challenging previous scholarship that depicts southern religious support for segregation as weak, Dupont shows how people of faith in Mississippi rejected the religious argument for black equality and actively supported the effort to thwart the civil rights movement. At the same time, faith motivated a small number of white Mississippians to challenge the methods and tactics of do-or-die segregationists. Racial turmoil profoundly destabilized Mississippi’s religious communities and turned them into battlegrounds over the issue of black equality. Though Mississippi’s evangelicals lost the battle to preserve segregation, they won important struggles to preserve the theology that had sustained the racial hierarchy. Ultimately, this history sheds light on the eventual rise of the religious right by elaborating the connections between the pre- and post-civil rights South. Instructor's Guide

Southern Black Women In The Modern Civil Rights Movement

Author: Merline Pitre
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
ISBN: 160344999X
Size: 56.66 MB
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Throughout the South, black women were crucial to the Civil Rights Movement, serving as grassroots and organizational leaders. They protested, participated, sat in, mobilized, created, energized, led particular efforts, and served as bridge builders to the rest of the community. Ignored at the time by white politicians and the media alike, with few exceptions they worked behind the scenes to effect the changes all in the movement sought. Until relatively recently, historians, too, have largely ignored their efforts. Although African American women mobilized all across Dixie, their particular strategies took different forms in different states, just as the opposition they faced from white segregationists took different shapes. Studies of what happened at the state and local levels are critical not only because of what black women accomplished, but also because their activism, leadership, and courage demonstrated the militancy needed for a mass movement. In this volume, scholars address similarities and variations by providing case studies of the individual states during the 1950s and 1960s, laying the groundwork for more synthetic analyses of the circumstances, factors, and strategies used by black women in the former Confederate states to destroy the system of segregation in this country.

This Light Of Ours

Author: Leslie G. Kelen
Publisher: Univ. Press of Mississippi
ISBN: 1617031720
Size: 16.62 MB
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This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement is a paradigm-shifting publication that presents the Civil Rights Movement through the work of nine activist photographers-men and women who chose to document the national struggle against segregation and other forms of race-based disenfranchisement from within the movement. Unlike images produced by photojournalists, who covered breaking news events, these photographers lived within the movement-primarily within the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) framework-and documented its activities by focusing on the student activists and local people who together made it happen. The core of the book is a selection of 150 black-and-white photographs, representing the work of photographers Bob Adelman, George Ballis, Bob Fitch, Bob Fletcher, Matt Herron, David Prince, Herbert Randall, Maria Varela, and Tamio Wakayama. Images are grouped around four movement themes and convey SNCC’s organizing strategies, resolve in the face of violence, impact on local and national politics, and influence on the nation’s consciousness. The photographs and texts of This Light of Ours remind us that the movement was a battleground, that the battle was successfully fought by thousands of “ordinary” Americans among whom were the nation’s courageous youth, and that the movement’s moral vision and impact continue to shape our lives.

The Music Has Gone Out Of The Movement

Author: David C. Carter
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 1469606577
Size: 36.81 MB
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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.

The Senator And The Sharecropper

Author: Chris Myers Asch
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 0807878057
Size: 13.17 MB
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In this fascinating study of race, politics, and economics in Mississippi, Chris Myers Asch tells the story of two extraordinary personalities--Fannie Lou Hamer and James O. Eastland--who represented deeply opposed sides of the civil rights movement. Both were from Sunflower County: Eastland was a wealthy white planter and one of the most powerful segregationists in the U.S. Senate, while Hamer, a sharecropper who grew up desperately poor just a few miles from the Eastland plantation, rose to become the spiritual leader of the Mississippi freedom struggle. Asch uses Hamer's and Eastland's entwined histories, set against the backdrop of Sunflower County's rise and fall as a center of cotton agriculture, to explore the county's changing social landscape during the mid-twentieth century and its persistence today as a land separate and unequal. Asch, who spent nearly a decade in Mississippi as an educator, offers a fresh look at the South's troubled ties to the cotton industry, the long struggle for civil rights, and unrelenting social and economic injustice through the eyes of two of the era's most important and intriguing figures.

Dispossession

Author: Pete Daniel
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 1469602024
Size: 39.50 MB
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Between 1940 and 1974, the number of African American farmers fell from 681,790 to just 45,594--a drop of 93 percent. In his hard-hitting book, historian Pete Daniel analyzes this decline and chronicles black farmers' fierce struggles to remain on the land in the face of discrimination by bureaucrats in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He exposes the shameful fact that at the very moment civil rights laws promised to end discrimination, hundreds of thousands of black farmers lost their hold on the land as they were denied loans, information, and access to the programs essential to survival in a capital-intensive farm structure. More than a matter of neglect of these farmers and their rights, this "passive nullification" consisted of a blizzard of bureaucratic obfuscation, blatant acts of discrimination and cronyism, violence, and intimidation. Dispossession recovers a lost chapter of the black experience in the American South, presenting a counternarrative to the conventional story of the progress achieved by the civil rights movement.

Safe From The Neighbors

Author: Steve Yarbrough
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307593274
Size: 74.71 MB
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In a small town in the Mississippi Delta, Luke May teaches local history to students too young to remember the turmoil of the civil rights era. Luke himself was just a child in 1962 when James Meredith’s enrollment at Ole Miss provoked a bloody new battle in the old Civil War. But when a long-lost friend suddenly returns to town, bringing with her a reminder of the act of searing violence that ended her childhood, Luke begins to realize that his connection to the past runs deeper than he ever could have imagined. An intricate novel of family secrets, extramarital affairs, and political upheaval, Safe from the Neighbors is a magnificent achievement. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Many Minds One Heart

Author: Wesley C. Hogan
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 0807867896
Size: 35.50 MB
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How did the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee break open the caste system in the American South between 1960 and 1965? In this innovative study, Wesley Hogan explores what SNCC accomplished and, more important, how it fostered significant social change in such a short time. She offers new insights into the internal dynamics of SNCC as well as the workings of the larger civil rights and Black Power movement of which it was a part. As Hogan chronicles, the members of SNCC created some of the civil rights movement's boldest experiments in freedom, including the sit-ins of 1960, the rejuvenated Freedom Rides of 1961, and grassroots democracy projects in Georgia and Mississippi. She highlights several key players--including Charles Sherrod, Bob Moses, and Fannie Lou Hamer--as innovators of grassroots activism and democratic practice. Breaking new ground, Hogan shows how SNCC laid the foundation for the emergence of the New Left and created new definitions of political leadership during the civil rights and Vietnam eras. She traces the ways other social movements--such as Black Power, women's liberation, and the antiwar movement--adapted practices developed within SNCC to apply to their particular causes. Many Minds, One Heart ultimately reframes the movement and asks us to look anew at where America stands on justice and equality today.

Klansville U S A

Author: David Cunningham
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199911088
Size: 56.46 MB
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In the 1960s, on the heels of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision and in the midst of the growing Civil Rights Movement, Ku Klux Klan activity boomed, reaching an intensity not seen since the 1920s, when the KKK boasted over 4 million members. Most surprisingly, the state with the largest Klan membership-more than the rest of the South combined-was North Carolina, a supposed bastion of southern-style progressivism. Klansville, U.S.A. is the first substantial history of the civil rights-era KKK's astounding rise and fall, focusing on the under-explored case of the United Klans of America (UKA) in North Carolina. Why the UKA flourished in the Tar Heel state presents a fascinating puzzle and a window into the complex appeal of the Klan as a whole. Drawing on a range of new archival sources and interviews with Klan members, including state and national leaders, the book uncovers the complex logic of KKK activity. David Cunningham demonstrates that the Klan organized most successfully where whites perceived civil rights reforms to be a significant threat to their status, where mainstream outlets for segregationist resistance were lacking, and where the policing of the Klan's activities was lax. Moreover, by connecting the Klan to the more mainstream segregationist and anti-communist groups across the South, Cunningham provides valuable insight into southern conservatism, its resistance to civil rights, and the region's subsequent dramatic shift to the Republican Party. Klansville, U.S.A. illuminates a period of Klan history that has been largely ignored, shedding new light on organized racism and on how political extremism can intersect with mainstream institutions and ideals.