The Politics of the Southern Negro: From Exclusion to Big City Organization

The Politics of the Southern Negro: From Exclusion to Big City Organization

The Politics of the Southern Negro: From Exclusion to Big City Organization

The Politics of the Southern Negro: From Exclusion to Big City Organization

Excerpt

This study of the politics of the Southern Negro began in the summer of 1964, the summer that promised to be both long and hot: the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had gone into effect and civil rights workers were pouring into the South. The political campaigns of 1964 further aroused Southerners, especially when Barry Goldwater became the Republican nominee for President. It was a time of much ferment and activity and therefore an opportune occasion for initiating research in Southern Negro politics.

In ranging over the Southern scene of the early 1960s there was much that merited attention. One might focus on a particular locality, as many social scientists do, and research some facet of its political behavior. To this writer such a method, whatever its merits, was not appealing. Was it not possible to see the political emergence of the Southern Negro as a part of some overall pattern? This was the question that intrigued the present writer and that this study was designed to answer. The search for an answer structured the research and presentation of the results in this volume. To take up this broad question is not, of course, to deny the worth of other questions and other approaches.

The answer to this quest for a basic pattern emerged from two assumptions: that the South may be regarded as a traditional society that has been modernizing for several decades and that . . .

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