The Bold, Bad '60s: Pushing the Point for Equality down South and out Yonder

The Bold, Bad '60s: Pushing the Point for Equality down South and out Yonder

The Bold, Bad '60s: Pushing the Point for Equality down South and out Yonder

The Bold, Bad '60s: Pushing the Point for Equality down South and out Yonder

Excerpt

The energies, talents and lives of large numbers of the boldest, brightest and best of successive generations of African American people have been invested in the constant struggle for freedoms that white American have had access to without challenge, for all of their lives.

This book captures the essentials during a vital modern decade of that struggle; a period that set in motion a process of democratic revolution in the South and opened big holes in the walls of racism, of legal segregation, and white supremacist rule by law and enforced social custom.

The struggle for universal suffrage, for political empowerment, for fair measure in the economic and cultural life of society can count some gains, but the full objectives are yet to be achieved. The chapters of this book axe my reportage from inside the actions on the scene of that time. A fitting preface for them are these excerpts from a speech I made on November 6, 1957 entitled The South's New Challenge:

In the South is to be found an exaggerated delineation of all the social problems--economic, political, cultural and racial--which beset U.S. capitalism. This fragment of modern exploitative society epitomizes the social problems begging solution in our times. Here are revealed the contending contradictions which at once arrest and motor the forces of social change and progress. In this sense the South is the United States in microcosm: its past, its present, the challenge to, and harbinger of, its future. And more than this: the South is the congealed essence of world capitalism entering upon the second half of the 20th century.

Whoever would understand the tasks of our times for our country and would divine the means and facilitate the accomplishment of these tasks, must study the southern scene in all its turbulence.

Any programing for social progress in America which fails to take into account the challenge of the South is so much vanity fare served up for the divertissement of idlers and utopians and has no relation . . .

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