The Origins of the Civil Rights Movement
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Charles Payne I’ve Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition and the Mississippi Freedom Struggle John Dittmer’s Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi
“It means Facing a system that does not lend itself to your needs and devising a means by which you can change that system. But one of the guiding principles that has to be that we cannot lead a struggle that involves masses of people without getting the people to understand what the potentials are, what their strengths are.” Baker
Black Freedom Movement
Brown decision Struggle to overturn Plessy vs. Ferguson 1896 Charles Hamilton Houston 1954-1963 1954-1965 1954-1968 1945-1974 1945-????
Top-down Focus on legislation Big events Community Mobilization Local people and struggles Community Organizing Ella Baker
Omits the watershed of World War II and black veterans such as Amzie Moore, Medgar Evers, etc. Foundations of the movement The Origins of the Civil Rights Movement by Aldon Morris Posits that there was not one single movement but various local movement centers (focuses on Birmingham, Tallahassee and Birmingham) Challenges the top-down approach
World War II veterans Ordinary People Building indigenous leadership Amzie Moore, Medgar Evers and Charles Henry Lay the foundations Younger generation Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee
Overemphasis on ministers Many were dependent on the white power structure Social Control Slow to move Congregations were often ahead of the ministers Social control Tendency to examine the ministers in the national movement as representative of the movement
Civil Rights Movement in the South Freedom North by Jeanne Theoharis and Komozi Woodard Groundwork: Local Black Freedom Movements in America Examples
The term was disturbing to the mainstream civil rights organizations and leaders because it threatened the dependency on white philanthropic donations
The demand to control their own destiny Voting rights, civil rights and human rights Self-respect Self-defense
1964-1965 Too little too late Energized the movement and focus on community organizingissues False premise of netgration
Robert F. Williams By, David R. Sparrow
This book is one of the most important documents of the African “American” freedom struggle. “Negroes With Guns”, fascinated Huey P. Newton Became the most important intellectual influences on the Black Panther Party for Self- Defense in Oakland, California. Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Congress of Racial Equality (C.O.R.E) “Negroes With Guns” was a kind of bible Black militancy for members of the Revolutionary African Movement, the Republic of New Africa, and for many other young race rebels. Helped lay the groundwork for the Black Power movement. Timothy Tyson describes Robert F. Williams as, “One of the most dynamic race rebels of a generation that changed the world”.
“Negroes with Guns”, raises another unresolved issue: devaluation and degradation of African “American” women by larger society. Important case in Monroe, North Carolina’s attempt to protect black women from racist, sexist attacks. Illustrate dehumanizing ways in which African “American” women were viewed and treated historically. Racist white men were granted impunity to disrespect, exploit, and assault Black women at will, impelled by anger or lust!
Advocated self-defense, not violence for it’s own sake. Wasn’t against passive resistance practiced by Armed self-defense isn’t the only answer, but a critical component in the broad strategy for liberation. One difference between Williams and MLK Jr. Massive civil disobedience is a powerful weapon under civilized conditions. Not introducing violence, combating it.
Violence and Nonviolence
CORE Klan terror campaign
Bob Hicks, Police Threats, and Defense
The Bogalusa Chapter was born Most successful Deacons Chapter
Alton Crowe shooting, July 8, 1965 Forced government to enforce civil rights Laws
Selma Chicago New York Black Power Conferences 1966-1968 Community Organizing Kenneth Gibson in Newark, New Jersey Black and Brown Alliance
Congress of African People Black Political Convention in Gary, Indiana Black Independent Convention in 1976