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Suggested Lecture Reading: Week 20 - Civil Rights



Suggested Lecture Reading: Textbook: chapter 34, passim

General Books

Alexander Bloom and Wini Breines (eds), Takin’ it to the Streets: A Sixties Reader (OUP, 2003)

Taylor Branch, Parting the Waters: Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-63 (1988)

Clayborne Carson et al (eds.), Eyes on the Prize Civil Rights Reader (1991)

Robert Cook, Sweet Land of Liberty? The African-American Struggle for Civil Rights in the Twentieth Century (1997)

James H. Cone, Martin and Malcolm and America (1991)

Adam Fairclough, To Redeem the Soul of America: The SCLC and Martin Luther King Jr. (1987)

Thomas C. Holt and Elsa Barkley Brown (eds.), Major Problems in African-American History, Vol II: From Freedom to ãFreedom Nowä, 1865-1990s (2000), chs. 8-10

Maurice Isserman, and Michael Kazin (eds), America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s (2000)

Howell Raines (ed.), My Soul is Rested: The Story of the Civil Rights Movement in the Deep South (1983)

Harvard Sitkoff, The Struggle for Black Equality, 1954-80 (1981)

Joe William Trotter Jr., The African American Experience (2001), pt VI Malcolm X, Autobiography (1966)

Specialised Books

James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time (1963)

Todd Boyd, The New H.N.I.C.: The Death of Civil Rights and the Reign of Hip-Hop (2003)

William H. Chafe, Civilities and Civil Rights: Greensboro, North Carolina and the Black Struggle for Freedom (1980)

Clayborne Carson, In Struggle; The SNCC and the Black Awakening in the 1960s (1981)

James Forman, The Making of Black Revolutionaries (1972)

David Garrow, Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King Jr. and the SCLC (1986)

Richard H. King, Civil Rights and the Idea of Freedom (1992)

Manning Marable, Race, Reform and the Second Reconstruction in Black America, 1945-90 (1991)

August Meier and Elliot Rudwick, CORE: A Study in the Civil Rights Movement (1973) Aldon D. Morris, The Origins of the Civil Rights Movement (1984)

Stephen B. Oates, Let the Trumpet Sound: The Life of Martin Luther King Jr. (1982)

Rick Perlstein, "Who Owns the Sixties?," Lingua Franca, (May/June 1996), (also reprinted in Griffith and Baker (eds), Major Problems in American History Since 1945 (2001 edn.)

Bruce Perry, Malcolm: the Life of a Man who Changed America (1991)

Brian Ward and Tony Badger (eds.), The Making of Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement (1996)

John White, Black Leadership in America: From Booker T. Washington to Jesse Jackson (1990).

See also the novels of James Baldwin, Go Tell it on the Mountain (1954), and Another Country (1962); Walter Mosley, Devil in a Blue Dress (1990) and A Little Yellow Dog (1996)


Wini Breines, "Whose New Left?," JAH, 75:2 (Sep., 1988), pp. 528-545

David Alan Horowitz , "White Southerners' Alienation and Civil Rights: The Response to Corporate Liberalism, 1956-1965," Journal of Southern History, 54, 2. (May, 1988), pp. 173-20

Robert Korstad and Nelson Lichtenstein, "Opportunities Found and Lost: Labor, Radicals and the Early Civil Rights Movement," Journal of American History 75 (1988), 81-118

Neil R. McMillen, "Black Enfranchisement in Mississippi: Federal Enforcement and Black Protest in the 1960s," Journal of Southern History, 43, 3. (Aug., 1977), pp. 351-372

August Meier and John H. Bracey, Jr., "The NAACP as a Reform Movement, 1909-1965: 'To Reach the Conscience of America'," Journal of Southern History, 59, 1. (Feb., 1993), pp. 3-30

Bruce Schulman, "Out on the Streets and into the Classroom? The New Left and Counterculture in the United States," JAH, 85, 4 (1999) 1527-1534

Timothy Tyson, "Robert F. Williams, "Black Power, and the Roots of the African-American Freedom Struggle," Journal of American History, 85, 2 (1998)

"A Round Table: Martin Luther King Jr.," Journal of American History, 74, 2 (1987), pp.436-81.


There are a large number of Civil Rights sites, varying in quality. For the oral history of the movement see the transcripts online. See also a good site on Martin Luther King and another one with good photos . Again, see American Memory Project homepage. For the political dimension, see the (good) official Lyndon Johnson site.

Visual Media:

Film: The Defiant Ones (Stanley Kramer, 1954), In The Heat of the Night (Norman Jewison, 1967), Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989), When We Were Kings (Leon J. Gast, 1996)

Television: Star Trek (NBC, 1966-1969), Good Times (CBS, 1974-1979), The Cosby Show (NBC, 1984-1992), 24 (Fox Television, 2001-)

Popular Music: "A Change Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke (from Ain't That Good News, RCA Victor, 1963) "Abraham, Martin and John" by Marvin Gaye (from That's the Way Love Is, Tamla Motown, 1970) "Fight the Power" by Public Enemy (from Fear of a Black Planet, Def Jam Records, 1990)