Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xiv

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Introduction

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pp. 1-8

In 1933, a young North Carolinian man named Thomas Raymond Hocutt dreamed of becoming a pharmacist. As he completed his undergraduate studies at Durham’s North Carolina College for Negroes, he was forced to reckon with the fact that only the all-white University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) housed a pharmacy program. At the very same time, three young civil rights activists, two attorneys and a journalist, were searching for a brave African American who would agree to challenge Jim Crow...

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Chapter One. No Man Is Your Captain: The Making of an Agitator

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pp. 9-21

One day, when he was about seven years old, a few years after the turn of the twentieth century, Louis Austin grabbed his shoeshine brush and approached a white man who had just entered his father’s barber shop. Mimicking some of the older boys, young Louis said to the customer, “Shine, capt’n, Shine, capt’n.” Louis’s father, William, abruptly stopped sharpening his straight razor before giving a customer a shave, turned to his oldest child, and reprimanded him, “Son, never let me hear you say those words again. No man is your...

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Chapter Two. We Have Got to Fight for Our Rights: Advocacy Journalism in the Great Depression

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pp. 22-59

Once he took the reins, Austin quickly transformed the Carolina Times into a bullhorn for racial justice and equality. He declared, “The Carolina Times is the mouthpiece of Negro Durham.”1 A devout Christian, Austin believed that it was his moral duty to expose the suffering and injustice doled out to African Americans and to wage war against those who denied African Americans the rights and opportunities enjoyed by white Americans.2 For Austin, like for many African Americans, the message of the Bible was a message of...

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Chapter Three. Double V in North Carolina: The Struggle for Racial Equality during World War II

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pp. 60-88

During World War II, African American activists formulated a strategy that the Pittsburgh Courier called the Double V.1 Even before the Courier first publicized the Double V slogan in February 1942, black activists and newspapers were already articulating a dual strategy in which blacks would fight for victory abroad against the Axis Powers while fighting for victory at home against the forces of white supremacy and racial oppression. The black press, according to one authority, the most powerful institution in the black community,...

Photographs

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Chapter Four. Segregation Must and Will Be Destroyed: The Black Freedom Struggle, 1945–1954

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pp. 89-126

By the time World War II ended in 1945, Louis Austin had been a leading activist and voice for racial justice for almost two decades. During the first postwar decade, Austin’s editorials continued to be forthright and resolute. This gutsy journalist, now in his late forties, led voter registration campaigns, ran for public office, advocated integration of higher education in the courts, lobbied for equal funding for black schools, demanded economic opportunity for African Americans, and denounced police brutality and racial injustice in...

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Chapter Five. We Want Equality Now: Challenging Segregation after Brown

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pp. 127-152

As the Brown decision ushered in the era of the modern civil rights movement, black newspapers continued to play an important role in the freedom struggle. The black press’s employment of advocacy journalism had played a crucial role in the battle for civil rights during the preceding decades.1 And in North Carolina, for almost three decades, Louis Austin and the Carolina Times had helped build the foundation for the black freedom movement of the 1950s and 1960s....

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Chapter Six. The Gospel of the Sit-In: Direct Action, 1960–1965

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pp. 153-182

On February 1, 1960, three years after the Royal Ice Cream sit-in, four black first-year students from historically black A&T College in Greensboro staged a sit-in at the lunch counter of the downtown Woolworth’s, an action that transformed the civil rights movement. Austin was quick to support the A&T students, as in Osha Gray Davidson’s words, he “preached the gospel of the sit-in that Saturday.”1 Austin pronounced the student protest “the most encouraging incident that has occurred within the past five years.” He praised...

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Chapter Seven. It Was a Wonder I Wasn’t Lynched: A Freedom Fighter till the End, 1966–1971

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pp. 183-207

While the passage of landmark civil rights legislation had partially redeemed the long years of struggle, Louis Austin knew that African Americans’ fight for racial justice was far from over. As he began his fifth decade publishing the Carolina Times, Austin continued to attack racial oppression, which remained pervasive, despite the victories won by the efforts of thousands of black freedom fighters. In March 1966, Austin gave voice to the frustration felt by many African Americans with the failure of the justice system to deal...

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Epilogue

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pp. 208-216

Austin’s death dealt a huge blow to his immediate family, to his Carolina Times family, to African Americans, and to freedom fighters in Durham and throughout the state. But Austin’s wife, Stella Austin, and their daughter, Vivian Edmonds, with the support of the employees at the newspaper as well as the paper’s subscribers, would not let the paper die with its publisher. They were committed to see the Times sustain Louis Austin’s legacy of speaking truth to power.1 Stella Austin, who had retired four years earlier from...

Notes

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pp. 217-288

Bibliography

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pp. 289-310

Index

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pp. 311-328