The website Civil Rights Movement veterans has a nice page on posters. Definitely worth checking out.
Adverts: From Black Power/Grad Skool Rulz
Written by fabiorojas
August 21, 2012 at 12:01 am
Posted in fabio, social movements
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A sociologist with interest in organizational dynamics might care to study how the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee soon became so violent.
“Many within the organization had grown skeptical about the tactics of nonviolence. … [Stokely] Carmichael first argued that blacks should be free to use violence in self-defense; later he advocated revolutionary violence to overthrow oppression. Carmichael rejected the civil-rights legislation (that the movement had fought so hard to achieve) as mere palliatives. …”
On the other hand, many of my libertarian and Objectivist comrades quote Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech because it is consonant with their belief that a person should be judged by the content of their character, not their race. (When SNCC abandoned non-violence, the white members were expelled.)
August 21, 2012 at 11:02 am
Michael, this is a topic that has been extensively covered by social movement theorists. Doug McAdam has written in several places about the radicalization and subsequent decline of the civil rights movement (for example, see his book chapter in Waves of Protest and a chapter with William Sewell in Silence and Voice in the Study of Contentious Politics). Herbert Haines wrote a paper about the radicalization of the civil rights movement that was published in Social Problems in 1984. Both Haines and McAdam talk about Stokely Carmichael in particular and the rise of black power as an alternative organizing principle more generally. This is just the tip of the iceberg of a lot more scholarship about the transformations that took place in the civil rights movement during the post-1964 period.
August 21, 2012 at 3:27 pm
By the way, there is a huge line of commentary available about how infuriating it is that one sentence in the “I have a dream” speech has been used by conservatives and libertarians to completely misconstrue the purpose, meaning and impact of Dr. King’s actual work and to promote a political project that is antithetical to his project.
August 21, 2012 at 4:13 pm
Belinda Robnett Olson’s piece in this volume (http://www.amazon.com/Social-Movements-Identity-Culture-State/dp/0195143566) covers the evolution of the broad civil rights movement after the Voting Rights Act (including SNCC’s shift) extremely well.
David S. Meyer
August 21, 2012 at 4:55 pm
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