Power, Politics, and the Decline of the Civil Rights Movement: A Fragile Coalition, 1967-1973

Power, Politics, and the Decline of the Civil Rights Movement: A Fragile Coalition, 1967-1973

by Christopher P. Lehman


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The book examines how the coalition among the national African American civil rights organizations disintegrated between 1967 and 1973 as a result of the factionalism that splintered the groups from within as well as the federal government's sabotage of the Civil Rights Movement.

Focusing on four major civil rights groups, Power, Politics, and the Decline of the Civil Rights Movement: A Fragile Coalition, 1967–1973 documents how factions within the movement and sabotage from the federal government led to the gradual splintering of the Civil Rights Movement. Well-known historian Christopher P. Lehman builds his case convincingly, utilizing his original research on the Movement's later years—a period typically overlooked and unexamined in the existing literature on the Movement.

The book identifies how each civil rights group challenged poverty, violence, and discrimination differently from one another and describes how the federal government intentionally undermined civil rights organizations' efforts. It also shows how civil rights activists gravitated to political careers, explains the rising prominence of civil rights speakers to the Movement in the absence of political organizing by civil rights groups, and documents the Movement's influence upon Richard Nixon's presidency.

• Identifies the instances in which the civil rights groups acted as a united coalition between 1967 and 1973 and recognizes how disagreements on separatism, feminism, and political campaigning split the Civil Rights Movement into individual civil rights groups

• Establishes the importance of women to the survival of the Movement in its later years

• Shows how the Movement influenced antiwar demonstrations of the era and struggled to remain nonviolent as Black Power militancy peaked

• Details efforts by the White House, the FBI, and state governments to infiltrate and sabotage the Movement

• Provides broad content ideal for undergraduate and graduate college students taking courses on the Civil Rights Movement as well as for professional and lay historians

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781440832659
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 07/29/2014
Pages: 408
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Christopher P. Lehman, PhD, is professor of ethnic studies at St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction: Old and New Movements ix

Chapter 1 Violence Is Necessary 1

Chapter 2 Open Season 19

Chapter 3 Shocked and Saddened 39

Chapter 4 Facing Annihilation 57

Chapter 5 A Hanging Judge 75

Chapter 6 Manifesto 93

Chapter 7 No Peace in This Land 111

Chapter 8 Heads-Up Murder 133

Chapter 9 Times Have Changed 149

Chapter 10 The Revolutionary Army 167

Chapter 11 Same Old Thing 183

Chapter 12 Run by Dictators 201

Chapter 13 Explode All over the Landscape 219

Chapter 14 Nation Time 235

Chapter 15 Groovin' on Democracy 253

Chapter 16 Their Most Vulnerable, Hopeless Position 271

Chapter 17 Kicking the Blacks Around 289

Chapter 18 The Movement of the Seventies 307

Epilogue: Leaders without a Movement 323

Notes 329

Bibliography 361

Index 381

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