Civil Rights Since 1787: A Reader on the Black Struggle / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Rent from
(Save 64%)
Est. Return Date: 06/17/2015
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 41%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $17.50
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 50%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (4) from $17.50   
  • New (1) from $78.15   
  • Used (3) from $17.50   


Winner of the 2001 Gustavus Myers Program Book Award.

Contrary to simple textbook tales, the civil rights movement did not arise spontaneously in 1954 with the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision. The black struggle for civil rights can be traced back to the arrival of the first Africans, and to their work in the plantations, manufacturies, and homes of the Americas. Civil rights was thus born as labor history.

Civil Rights Since 1787 tells the story of that struggle in its full context, dividing the struggle into six major periods, from slavery to Reconstruction, from segregation to the Second Reconstruction, and from the current backlash to the future prospects for a Third Reconstruction. The "prize" that the movement has sought has often been reduced to a quest for the vote in the South. But all involved in the struggle have always known that the prize is much more than the vote, that the goal is economic as well as political. Further, in distinction from other work, Civil Rights Since 1787 establishes the links between racial repression and the repression of labor and the left, and emphasizes the North as a region of civil rights struggle.

Featuring the voices and philosophies of orators, activists, and politicians, this anthology emphasizes the role of those ignored by history, as well as the part that education and religion have played in the movement. Civil Rights Since 1787 serves up an informative mix of primary documents and secondary analysis and includes the work of such figures as Ella Baker, Mary Frances Berry, Clayborne Carson, Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. DuBois, Eric Foner, Herb Gutman, Fannie Lou Hamer, A. Leon Higginbotham, Darlene Clark Hine, Jesse Jackson, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Manning Marable, Nell Painter, Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward, A. Philip Randolph, Mary Church Terrell, and Howard Zinn.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Jonathan Birnbaum and Clarence Taylor have plumbed historical documents to produce a study that has both truth and urgency. . . . You could not do better than this book.”
-Jewish Currents

“Civil Rights Since 1787 is one of those rare documentary collections that rewrites history. Birnbaum and Taylor not only take a long and wide view of the movement, but they persuasively re-define civil rights to encompass many criticle struggles for social justice. This book is indispensable.”
-Robin D.G. Kelley,author of Race Rebels: Culture, Politics, and the Black Working Class

“As a reference book, Civil Rights Since 1787 serves as an outstanding source. The book gives a lucid account of the history of institutional slavery and racism in America that is all too often perplexing when presented by educational texts.”
-Chicago Streetwise

“This is a particularly valuable collection, an excellent reader on the struggle for racial equality.”
-Howard Zinn,author of A People's History of the United States

“An unusually challenging illumination of our still very unfinished history of equal protection of the laws. No classroom, library, or legislature at any level should be without it, and nearly everyone will want to argue with parts of it.”
-Nat Hentoff,author of Living the Bill of Rights and Free Speech for Me—But Not for Thee

From The Critics
A highly readable, incredibly informative, seeming doorstop of a book, with 900 pages of writing, most of it brilliant, on civil rights and race, ranging from original sources by leading actors in the struggle to historians who have themselves participated in or understood the issues.
Chicago Streetwise
As a reference book, Civil Rights Since 1787 serves as an outstanding source. The book gives a lucid account of the history of institutional slavery and racism in America that is all too often perplexing when presented by educational texts.
Editors Birnbaum (writer) and Taylor (history, Florida International U.) have gathered an impressive array of documentary materials from a variety of sources, including excerpts from books and articles, and recent newspaper articles. Their material, divided into the broad categories of slavery, reconstruction, segregation, the second reconstruction, backlash redux, and towards a third reconstruction, traces the ongoing black struggle for civil rights from the arrival of the first Africans to America today. Each major section begins with a brief introduction by the editors. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Internet Bookwatch
Civil Rights Since 1787 is a reader on the black struggle since 1787 that provides a powerful collection of articles which rewrites history, charting an earlier struggle for civil rights than most titles would present and using primary documents and secondary analysis to spice the presentation. Works by DuBois, Fannie Lou Hamer, Ella Baker, Manning Marable and more are outstanding presentations.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814782491
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 936
  • Sales rank: 1,220,277
  • Product dimensions: 7.02 (w) x 9.93 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Jonathan Birnbaum is the editor, with Bertell Ollman, of The United States Constitution: 200 Years of Anti-Federalist, Abolitionist, Feminist, Muckraking, Progressive, and Especially Socialist Criticism (also available from NYU Press). His work has appeared in The Guardian, New Politics, Socialism & Democracy, New Political Science, and other publications. He lives in Illinois.

Clarence Taylor is Professor of History at Baruch College, CUNY, and author of The Black Churches of Brooklyn, Knocking at Our Own Door: Milton Galamison and the Struggle to Integrate New York City Schools and most recently Black Religious Intellectuals: The Fight for Equality from Jim Crow to the 21st Century.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction: It Didn't Start in 1954 1
Pt. I Slavery: America's First Compromise
1 Introduction: Original Sin 7
2 The International Slave Trade 9
3 Slavery, the Constitution, and the Founding Fathers 16
4 Our Pro-Slavery Constitution 24
5 Slave Religion, Rebellion, and Docility 29
6 1787 Petition for Equal Educational Facilities 35
7 The Abolitionist Movement 36
8 Too Long Have Others Spoken for Us 41
9 Education for Black Women 45
10 Walker's Appeal 47
11 On African Rights and Liberty 50
12 The Liberator: Opening Editorial 53
13 An Address to the Slaves of the United States 55
14 Free Blacks and Suffrage 58
15 Silencing Debate: The Congressional Gag Rule 59
16 Equality before the Law 60
17 Free Blacks and the Fugitive Slave Act 66
18 The Fugitive Slave Law 70
19 What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July? 74
20 Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) 78
21 Illinois No Longer a Free State 83
22 Literacy, Slavery, and Religion 85
23 Who Freed the Slaves? 90
Pt. II Reconstruction
24 Introduction: The Second American Revolution 101
25 The Second American Revolution 103
26 Schools for Freedom 109
27 The Southern Black Church 116
28 Forty Acres and a Mule: Special Field Order No. 15 118
29 A Proposal for Reconstruction 121
30 Woman's Rights 127
31 Woman Suffrage 130
32 Black Women during Reconstruction 131
33 Southern Discomfort 135
34 The Ku Klux Klan Conspiracy 138
35 Black Workers and Republicans in the South 141
36 The Reconstruction Myth 150
37 The Impeachment of President Andrew Johnson 154
Pt. III Segregation
38 Introduction: Separate and Unequal 161
39 Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) 165
40 Newspapers on Plessy v. Ferguson 170
41 How Disenfranchisement Was Accomplished 172
42 Lynching 177
43 The Atlanta Massacre 181
44 The Race War in the North 184
45 Jim Crow and the Limits of Freedom, 1890-1940 190
46 Blacks and the First Red Scare 199
47 The Second Klan 203
48 Black Workers from Reconstruction to the Great Depression 215
49 The Atlanta Address 222
50 Of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others 226
51 Report of the 1900 Pan-African Conference 232
52 The Niagara Movement Declaration of Principles 234
53 The Task for the Future 238
54 Returning Soldiers 242
55 Lynching a Domestic Question? 244
56 Address to President Wilson 246
57 The Higher Education of Women 249
58 Black Women and the Right to Vote 252
59 Woman Suffrage and the Fifteenth Amendment 260
60 Woman Suffrage and the Negro 262
61 The Great Migration 264
62 Migration and Political Power 267
63 The Objectives of the Universal Negro Improvement Association 268
64 The Garvey Milieu 274
65 The Scottsboro Case 278
66 Women and Lynching 280
67 Blacks and the New Deal 283
68 Mary McLeod Bethune and the Black Cabinet 287
69 Marian Anderson, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the D.A.R. 290
70 Blacks and the CIO 292
71 The Harlem Bus Boycott of 1941 298
72 The March on Washington Movement 303
73 Executive Order 8802: Establishing the FEPC 307
74 The Sharecroppers' Tale 309
75 The "Double V" Campaign 315
76 Nazi and Dixie Nordics 318
77 The Civil Rights Congress 321
Pt. IV The Second Reconstruction
78 Introduction: The Modern Civil Rights Movement 327
79 Charles Hamilton Houston and the NAACP Legal Strategy 333
80 The NAACP and Brown 341
81 Brown v. Board of Education (1954) 349
82 Mississippi Murders 355
83 Labor, Radicals, and the Civil Rights Movement 363
84 Migration and Electoral Politics 383
85 To Secure These Rights 388
86 Executive Order 9981: Barring Segregation in the Armed Forces 394
87 The Second Red Scare: The Cold War in Black America 396
88 Remembering Jackie Robinson 409
89 Paul Robeson and the House Un-American Activities Committee 412
90 The Highlander School 416
91 If the Negro Wins, Labor Wins 421
92 CORE and the Pacifist Roots of Civil Rights 428
93 The Baton Rouge Bus Boycott 435
94 Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott 443
95 The Social Organization of Nonviolence 457
96 SCLC and "The Beloved Community" 461
97 On King's Influences and Borrowings 464
98 Women and Community Leadership 467
99 The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee 472
100 SNCC Statement of Purpose 474
101 Suppose Not Negroes but Men of Property Were Being Beaten in Mississippi 475
102 Letter from Birmingham City Jail 477
103 Television Address on Civil Rights 490
104 What Really Happened at the March on Washington? 493
105 Which Side Is the Federal Government On? 501
106 I Have a Dream 504
107 Movie Myths about Mississippi Summer 508
108 Freedom Schools 511
109 The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party 517
110 Testimony before the 1964 DNC Credentials Committee 521
111 Civil Rights and Black Protest Music 524
112 From Protest to Politics 528
113 The Selma Movement and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 539
114 Address on Voting Rights 546
115 Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders 553
116 The Watts Uprising 555
117 The Great Society 561
118 The SCLC and Chicago 565
119 Resurrection City and the Poor People's Campaign 574
120 The Welfare Rights Movement 580
121 We Must Have Justice 587
122 The Ballot or the Bullet 589
123 Malcolm and Martin: A Common Solution 604
124 What We Want 611
125 The Black Panther Party Ten-Point Program 615
126 The Black Panther Party 618
127 Women and the Black Panther Party 621
128 Black Power and Labor 624
129 The Nixon Administration and Civil Rights 631
130 The Gary Black Political Convention of 1972 635
131 Police Violence and Riots 641
132 Rodney King, Police Brutality, and Riots 645
133 Black Power in the Age of Jackson 649
134 Race and the Democrats 655
135 Mississippi Abolishes Slavery 659
136 Undercounting Minorities 661
137 The Color of Money 663
138 The Possessive Investment in Whiteness 669
139 Discrimination and Racism Continue 679
140 Education's "Savage Inequalities" 684
141 Shopping While Black 688
142 Environmental Racism 692
143 Affirmative Action and History 697
144 The Great White Myth 700
145 How the Press Frames Affirmative Action 702
146 Position Paper on Affirmative Action 708
Pt. V Backlash Redux
147 Introduction: Redemption II 717
148 The Southern Manifesto 721
149 George Wallace and the Roots of Modern Republicanism 725
150 Segregation Forever 731
151 The Southern Strategy 735
152 The Nixon That Black Folks Knew 742
153 The FBI, COINTELPRO, and the Repression of Civil Rights 745
154 The Urban Fiscal Crisis and the Rebirth of Conservatism 753
155 Boston's Battle over Busing 759
156 The Tax Revolt 779
157 Campus Racism and the Reagan Budget Cuts 780
158 The War against the Poor 785
159 David Duke and the Southern Strategy 792
160 The Civil Rights Act of 1991 794
161 How "Welfare" Became a Dirty Word 798
162 Lazy Lies about Welfare 803
163 Race and the "New Democrats" 805
164 Defunding the Congressional Black Caucus 817
165 Vouchers, the Right, and the Race Card 819
166 The Prison Industrial Complex 823
167 Felony Disenfranchisement 829
168 Chain Gang Blues 831
169 Breaking Thurgood Marshall's Promise 836
Pt. VI Toward a Third Reconstruction
170 Introduction: Where Do We Go from Here? 843
171 Time for a Third Reconstruction 846
172 Toward a New Protest Paradigm 849
173 Why Inter-Ethnic Anti-Racism Matters Now 853
174 How the New Working Class Can Transform Urban America 856
175 What Works to Reduce Inequality? 862
176 A Workers' Bill of Rights 864
177 A Ten-Point Plan 866
178 Both Race and Class: A Time for Anger 868
179 Fear of a Black Feminist Planet 874
180 Response to the Million Man March 878
181 What Farrakhan Left Out 880
182 Clean-Money Campaign Finance Reform 883
183 Proportional Representation 885
184 We Can Educate All Our Children 890
185 Algebra as Civil Rights: An Interview with Bob Moses 896
186 Pulpit Politics: Religion and the Black Radical Tradition 899
187 Some Truths Are Not Self-Evident 904
188 Don't Need Another Dr. King 907
Index 909
About the Editors 943
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)