Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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Preface

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pp. ix-xiv

This collection spans twenty-five years of my writing about civil rights and African American politics. When I began writing I did not have a strategic plan for the direction of my scholarship. My first book, Black Ballots: Voting Rights in the South 1944-1969, established me as a scholar of black suffrage—particularly of the role the federal...

Part One. Studying the Civil Rights Movement

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Freedom Then, Freedom Now: The Historiography of the Civil Rights Movement

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pp. 3-28

While the United States tilted in the direction of political conservatism during the past decade, the history of the civil rights movement gained in popular appeal. Martin Luther King's birthday became a national holiday. Hollywood fictionalized the events surrounding the Mississippi Freedom Summer, drawing millions of customers to the...

Part Two. Lyndon B. Johnson and the Black Freedom Struggle

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Exploring Johnson's Civil Rights Policy

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pp. 31-55

Lyndon Johnson spent the final months of his life filled with memories of the civil rights struggle that had greatly influenced his political career. In December 1972, at a symposium held at the Johnson Library, the former president heard an array of notable civil rights leaders commemorate his achievements in promoting racial...

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The Improbable Emancipator

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pp. 56-70

Lyndon Johnson was, as T. Harry Williams observed a few months after the former president's death, a "tormented man from [a] tormented region who had such large visions of what his country might become." Born and raised in the South, Johnson had only gradually come to recognize the hardships blacks endured under the racial...

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Mixing Moderation with Militancy

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pp. 71-94

When Lyndon Johnson left the White House in 1969, America stood divided over his handling of affairs related to war and peace. Disturbed by the deteriorating quality of life in their cities and confounded by the intractability of combat in the swamps and jungles of Vietnam, they doubted the credibility of the president and the...

Part Three. Civil Rights and Black Politics

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From Boycotts to Ballots

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pp. 97-118

In 1946 southern black soldiers returned from having fought in World War II, only to encounter white racism at home. A Georgia veteran expressed the sentiments of black GIs throughout the region, many of whom marched to county courthouses demanding their right to vote. "Peace is not the absence of war," he declared, "but the presence...

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Preserving the Second Reconstruction

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pp. 119-134

The passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 climaxed a long struggle to restore the ballot to southern blacks. For over a half century civil rights advocates had litigated, legislated, and demonstrated against barriers erected to evade the Fifteenth Amendment. Although the judiciary had overturned the grandfather clause and the white primary...

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The Unmaking of the Second Reconstruction

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pp. 135-174

In early 1960 four black college students in Greensboro, North Carolina, challenged Woolworth s to serve them equally alongside whites at its lunch counter. The demands for justice seemed relatively simple then. If treated without regard to color, blacks were expected to take advantage of the available opportunities to free themselves from the...

Part Four. From the Bottom Up

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Florida's Little Scottsboro

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pp. 177-195

The residents of Lake County, Florida, awoke on the morning of July 16, 1949, to a drama that was hauntingly familiar and yet disturbingly different. Word passed quickly through the area of small towns and rural communities that before dawn on this summer Sunday a white woman had been attacked and raped by four black...

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Investigations and Massive Resistance

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pp. 196-216

Law has played a central role in structuring race relations in the United States. Though violent confrontation accompanied the civil rights struggle, the most significant battles were fought in courthouses and legislatures as well as in the streets. Segregationists resorted to violence and intimidation, but they were as likely to respond...

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From Sit-in to Race Riot

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pp. 217-234

Much of the literature concerning the civil rights movement and race relations in the South has concentrated on their explosive nature. Journalists and scholars alike have been fascinated with confrontation and crisis resolution. Montgomery, Little Rock, New Orleans, Greenwood, Birmingham, Saint Augustine, and Selma dot...

Part Five. New Paths of Exploration

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Rock 'n' Roll, the Payola Scandal, and the Political Culture of Civil Rights

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pp. 237-264

On February 1, 1960, students in Greensboro, North Carolina sat-in at a Woolworth's lunch counter in a demonstration much heralded in the annals of civil rights history. This momentous confrontation with racial segregation invigorated the African American freedom struggle and would substantially change the lives of blacks and whites...

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Women, Civil Rights, and Black Liberation

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pp. 265-283

It is impossible to write about the civil rights movement without recognizing the centrality of women. Two pioneering events associated with the launching of the movement, Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 and the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott in 1955, drew women to the forefront. Linda Brown, an elementary school...

Notes

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pp. 284-353

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 354-363

Permissions

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pp. 364-365

Index

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pp. 366-386