Freedom's Sword: The NAACP and the Struggle against Racism in America, 1909-1969

Freedom's Sword: The NAACP and the Struggle against Racism in America, 1909-1969

Freedom's Sword: The NAACP and the Struggle against Racism in America, 1909-1969

Freedom's Sword: The NAACP and the Struggle against Racism in America, 1909-1969

Synopsis

Freedom's Sword is the first history to detail the remarkable, lasting achievements of the NAACP's first sixty years. From its pivotal role in overturning the Jim Crow laws in the South to its twenty-year court campaign that culminated with Brown v. the Board of Education, the NAACP has been at the forefront of the struggle against American racism. Gilbert Jonas, a fifty-year veteran of the organization, tracks America's political and social landscape period by period, as the NAACP grows to 400,000 members and is recognized by both blacks and whites as the leading force for social justice.

Jonas recounts the historic combined efforts of ordinary citizens and black leaders such as W. E. B. Dubois, James Weldon Johnson, and Thurgood Marshall to root out white-only political primaries, separate schools, and segregated city buses. Freedom's Sword is a vivid and passionately written account of the single most influential secular organization in black America.

Excerpt

First and foremost, this book is dedicated to the tens of thousands of African Americans who placed their lives on the line to confront and defeat the cruel and oppressive forces of Jim Crow.

They are the true heroes of our nation's long struggle to attain civil rights for every citizen.

The public face of the civil rights struggle was necessarily the leadership, national and local, of the NAACP and its sister organizations. This book, hopefully one of many, pays tribute to the unparalleled assemblage of stellar leaders during the NAACP's first six decades, many of whom I was fortunate enough to count as friends and colleagues. They include Roy Wilkins, Walter White, Thurgood Marshall, John Morsell, Robert L. Carter, William Hastie, Charles Hamilton Houston, Charles and Medgar Evers, Kivie Kaplan, Henry Lee Moon, Buell Gallagher, Herbert Hill, Gloster Current, Julian Bond, June Sha-galoff Alexander, Daisy Bates, Alfred B. Lewis, Clarence Mitchell, Ruby Hurley, Ralph J. Bunche, Vernon Jordan, Mildred B. Roxbor-ough, Matthew Perry, Nathaniel Jones, Franklin Williams, James Farmer, Richard McClain, Robert C. Weaver, and Aaron Henry. No private American association has even come close to assembling such luminous leadership. Folk wisdom has it that each constituency receives the leadership it deserves. The foregoing list is indeed a reflection of the vast but devoted and disciplined membership of the NAACP during the years of its greatest struggles.

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