By Glenn T. Eskew
Birmingham served because the degree for one of the most dramatic and critical moments within the historical past of the civil rights fight. during this vibrant narrative account, Glenn Eskew lines the evolution of nonviolent protest within the urban, focusing relatively at the occasionally complicated intersection of the neighborhood and nationwide events.
Eskew describes the altering face of Birmingham's civil rights crusade, from the politics of lodging practiced through the city's black bourgeoisie within the Fifties to neighborhood pastor Fred L. Shuttlesworth's groundbreaking use of nonviolent direct motion to problem segregation through the overdue Fifties and early Sixties.
In 1963, the nationwide move, within the individual of Martin Luther King Jr., grew to become to Birmingham. The nationwide uproar that on Police Commissioner Bull Connor's use of canine and fireplace hoses opposed to the demonstrators supplied the impetus at the back of passage of the watershed Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Paradoxically, even though, the bigger victory gained within the streets of Birmingham did little for plenty of of the city's black electorate, argues Eskew. The cancellation of protest marches earlier than any simple earnings were made left Shuttlesworth feeling betrayed whilst King claimed a private victory. whereas African americans have been admitted to the management of town, the best way strength was once exercised--and for whom--remained essentially unchanged.
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Extra resources for But for Birmingham: The Local and National Movements in the Civil Rights Struggle
Kevin Pittard and his wife, Michele Gillespie, offered valuable criticism of the 1987 thesis. In Birmingham, people who contributed to this study in some form include Beverly Braswell, Chris King, Jim Shoemaker, Faith Benner, and Jane McRay. Lunches with my aunt, Margie McIntosh, or a trio of college buddies, Alec Harvey, Anthony Cicio, and Rob McLaughlin, broke the monotony of archival work. The love of family members has supported me throughout the writing of Page xv this book. My sister, Becky E.
23 For decades, black protest from the classes and the masses had followed a process of petitioning white leaders for ameliorating reforms that maintained the segregated social structure. With the civil rights struggle of the 1950s and 1960s, however, new indigenous groups championed the national movement's goals. Yet the bureaucracy of the NAACP and the stodgy and elitist nature of its local branches inhibited an aggressive response by the local NAACP leadership. Class conflict developed as the black elite defended its position in society while admitting that it did not control the black masses it claimed to represent.
To understand the civil rights struggle, one must understand the intersection of the local and national movements. Historians have analyzed the civil rights struggle from the top down and the bottom up. 18 Supporting discontinuity instead, this study analyzes ideology and argues that the civil rights move- Page 15 ment began when local black activists in the South organized new indigenous protest groups in the 1950s and 1960s that demanded immediate and equal access to the system. 20 These local organizations aligned with a national movement that had been fighting for southern race reform for decades from its power base in the North.
But for Birmingham: The Local and National Movements in the Civil Rights Struggle by Glenn T. Eskew