63 Years after the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore, in her book Defying Dixie: The radical roots of civil rights 1919 – 1950, writes:

p. 9

A focus on the mid-century civil rights movement suggests that African Americans simply wanted desegregation and highlights NAACP school litigation and the Montgomery bus boycott.  On the contrary, African Americans had worked for decades to secure social justice in broader terms.  The NAACP’s litigation campaign that resulted in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 was only part of a much larger campaign, even within the NAACP, for economic opportunity and a thoroughgoing reordering of society to recognize universal human rights.    It swept away connections among civil liberties, civil rights, and labor rights that liberals and radicals had carefully forged from the mid-1930s onward.  Taking this narrow view, Black Power betrayed the movement of which it had always been part, and the cries from Watts for equal economic opportunity were anti-American.


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