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Civil Rights Crossroads: Nation, Community, and the Black Freedom Struggle / Edition 1

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Overview

Over the past thirty years, Steven F. Lawson has established himself as one of the nation's leading historians of the black struggle for equality. Civil Rights Crossroads is an important collection of Lawson's writings about the civil rights movement that is essential reading for anyone concerned about the past, present, and future of race relations in America. Lawson examines the movement from a variety of perspectives — local and national, political and social — to offer penetrating insights into the civil rights movement and its influence on contemporary society.

Civil Rights Crossroads also illuminates the role of a broad array of civil rights activists, familiar and unfamiliar. Lawson describes the efforts of Martin Luther King Jr. and Lyndon Johnson to shape the direction of the struggle, as well as the extraordinary contributions of ordinary people like Fannie Lou Hamer, Harry T. Moore, Ruth Perry, Theodore Gibson, and many other unsung heroes of the most important social movement of the twentieth century. Lawson also examines the decades-long battle to achieve and expand the right of African Americans to vote and to implement the ballot as the cornerstone of attempts at political liberation.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A useful read for graduate students and scholars of the civil rights movement. This final section in particular makes it abundantly clear that much is left to do in the continuous struggle to understand the fight for African American and indeed American civil rights." — Arkansas Review

"Presents a more complete picture of the struggle for civil rights in US history.... Recommended." — Choice

" Civil Rights Crossroads provides a comprehensive and critical survey of the modern civil rights struggle. Steven Lawson's book builds upon the remarkable outpouring during the past two decades of historical studies that have drawn attention to the contributions of little-known grassroots activists as well as national leaders. Lawson's own previous writings have been important pioneering additions to this literature, and Civil Rights Crossroads brings together the accumulated insights of a leading scholar in the field." — Clayborne Carson, director of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers Project at Stanford University

"Lawson's books and articles, including those in Civil Rights Crossroads, are characterized by remarkable continuity and growth." — Journal of Southern History

"An important collection of illuminating and provocative essays that explore new dimensions of the black struggle to demolish Jim Crow segregation and second-class citizenship. Lawson thoughtfully connects local events and community leaders with key national personalities and political forces. In crisp prose he displays impressive mastery of the contours of Civil Rights historiography." — Darlene Clark Hine, author of Black Victory

"Another landmark publication.... An outstanding read on the legacy of the civil rights movement and testimony of the civil rights campaign in Florida." — Florida Historical Quarterly

"[ Civil Rights Crossroads] makes a valuable contribution to the historiography of the black freedom struggle by demonstrating the progression of the field from a narrow focus on prominent male leaders and national organizations to a wider lens that includes local studies and extends the movement chronology beyond 1968.... This volume represents an impressive body of work and will prove useful to scholars as well as undergraduate students." — H-Net Reviews

"Makes a valuable contribution to the historiography of the black freedom struggle by demonstrating the progression of the field from a narrow focus on prominent male leaders and national organizations to a wider lens that includes local studies and extends the movement chronologically beyond 1968." — H-New Review

"Lawson is one of the leading historians of the civil rights movement in America. While the earlier works on the movement focused on the civil rights leaders and their organizations, and the more recent studies have emphasized grass roots activism, Lawson has combined national and local perspectives better than any other scholar." — John Dittmer, author of Local People

"This collection of some of Steven Lawson's best articles does a great deal to meet a need that he and other scholars called for two decades ago: historical works that connect 'the local with the national, the social with the political.'" — North Carolina Historical Review

" Civil Rights Crossroads provides a comprehensive and critical survey of the modern civil rights struggle. Steven Lawson's book builds upon the remarkable outpouring during the past two decades of historical studies that have drawn attention to the contributions of little-known grassroots activists as well as national leaders. Lawson's own previous writings have been important pioneering additions to this literature, and Civil Rights Crossroads brings together the accumulated insights of a leading scholar in the field." — Clayborne Carson, director of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers Project at Stanford University

"[ Civil Rights Crossroads] makes a valuable contribution to the historiography of the black freedom struggle by demonstrating the progression of the field from a narrow focus on prominent male leaders and national organizations to a wider lens that includes local studies and extends the movement chronology beyond 1968.... This volume represents an impressive body of work and will prove useful to scholars as well as undergraduate students." — H-Net Reviews

"This collection of some of Steven Lawson's best articles does a great deal to meet a need that he and other scholars called for two decades ago: historical works that connect 'the local with the national, the social with the political.'" — North Carolina Historical Review

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Steven F. Lawson, professor of history at Rutgers University, is the author of several books on the civil rights movement and black suffrage, including Black Ballots: Voting Rights in the South, 1944-1969, Running for Freedom: Civil Rights and Black Politics in America Since 1941, and Debating the Civil Rights Movement: 1945-1968.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Pt. 1 Studying the Civil Rights Movement
Freedom Then, Freedom Now 3
Pt. 2 Lyndon B. Johnson and the Black Freedom Struggle
Exploring Johnson's Civil Rights Policy 31
The Improbable Emancipator 56
Mixing Moderation with Militancy 71
Pt. 3 Civil Rights and Black Politics
From Boycotts to Ballots 97
Preserving the Second Reconstruction 119
The Unmaking of the Second Reconstruction 135
Pt. 4 From the Bottom Up
Florida's Little Scottsboro 177
Investigations and Massive Resistance 196
From Sit-in to Race Riot 217
Pt. 5 New Paths of Exploration
Rock 'n' Roll, the Payola Scandal, and the Political Culture of Civil Rights 237
Women, Civil Rights, and Black Liberation 265
Notes 284
Selected Bibliography 354
Index 366
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