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Inside agitators : white southerners in the Civil Rights Movement

Author: David L Chappell
Publisher: Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, ©1994.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
How did the vastly outnumbered black Southerners in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s succeed against a white power structure that seemed uniformly hostile? Contrary to widespread belief, argues David Chappell, "inside agitators"--White southerners sympathetic to the cause of desegregation - played a crucial role. Chappell shows how years of experience gave black southerners unique insights into the
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Genre/Form: History
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Chappell, David L.
Inside agitators.
Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, ©1994
(OCoLC)622404101
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: David L Chappell
ISBN: 0801846854 9780801846854
OCLC Number: 29356791
Description: xxvii, 303 pages ; 24 cm
Contents: Foreword / Clayborne Carson --
pt. 1. The Strange Career of Racial Dissent in the South. 1. The "Silent South": The Founding Fathers of Southern White Dissent. 2. From Silence to Futility: Southern White Dissent Gets Organized --
pt. 2. The Strategy of Nonviolence and the Role of White Southerners in the Movement. 3. The Montgomery Bus Boycott, 1955-1956. 4. Tallahassee, 1956-1957. 5. Little Rock, 1957-1959. 6. Albany, Georgia, 1961-1962 --
pt. 3. The Art of the Possible: The White Southerner in the National State. 7. The Late 1950s: Saving the Party from Civil Rights. 8. Lyndon Johnson Takes Center Stage --
and Then an Intermission. 9. Policy in High Gear: From the Justice Department to the Acts of 1964 and 1965 --
Epilogue: Interpreting the Movement.
Responsibility: David L. Chappell.
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Abstract:

How did the vastly outnumbered black Southerners in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s succeed against a white power structure that seemed uniformly hostile? Contrary to widespread belief, argues David Chappell, "inside agitators"--White southerners sympathetic to the cause of desegregation - played a crucial role. Chappell shows how years of experience gave black southerners unique insights into the strengths and weaknesses of "their" white folks. These insights helped black leaders not only to enlist the help of white liberals and moderates but also to manipulate hard-line segregationists into behavior that was often politically self-destructive. In short, Chappell contends, black southerners defeated segregation because they understood white southerners better than segregationists did.

Case studies from Montgomery, Tallahassee, Little Rock, and Albany (Georgia) highlight the movement's successes and failures. Chappell then extends his analysis to the national government to show how white southerners became the chief instrument of federal intervention for civil rights. Based on more than seventy personal interviews as well as on previously unpublished material from the Martin Luther King papers and elsewhere, Inside Agitators provides a wide-ranging and insightful reinterpretation of the civil rights movement and the reasons for its triumph.

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