The Civil Rights Movement was among the most important historical developments of the twentieth century and one of the most remarkable mass movements in American history. Not only did it decisively change the legal and political status of African Americans, but it prefigured as well the moral premises and methods of struggle for other historically oppressed groups seeking equal standing in American society. And, yet, despite a vague, sometimes begrudging recognition of its immense import, more often than not the movement has been misrepresented and misunderstood. For many, a singular moment, frozen in time at the Lincoln Memorial, sums up much of what Americans and the world know about that remarkable decade of struggle.
In The Civil Rights Movement: A Very Short Introduction, Thomas C. Holt provides an informed and nuanced understanding of the origins, character, and objectives of the mid-twentieth-century freedom struggle, privileging the aspirations and initiatives of the ordinary, grassroots people who made it. Holt conveys a sense of these developments as a social movement, one that shaped its participants even as they shaped it. He emphasizes the conditions of possibility that enabled the heroic initiatives of the common folk over those of their more celebrated leaders. This groundbreaking book reinserts the critical concept of "movement" back into our image and understanding of the Civil Rights Movement.
List of Illustrations
Introduction: Carrie's Rebellion
Chapter 1: Before Montgomery
Chapter 2: Communities organizing for change: New South cities
Chapter 3: Communities organizing for change along the New South-Old South divide
Chapter 4: Organizing in "the American Congo": Mississippi's Freedom Summer and its aftermath
Chapter 5: Freedom movements in the North and the quest for Black power
Chapter 6: Legacies: "Freedom is a constant struggle"
ISBN : 9780190605421