Encyclopedia of African-American Civil Rights: From Emancipation to the Present

Encyclopedia of African-American Civil Rights: From Emancipation to the Present

Encyclopedia of African-American Civil Rights: From Emancipation to the Present

Encyclopedia of African-American Civil Rights: From Emancipation to the Present


This is the first reference book presenting an overview of the century-long fight for true racial equality in America. This remarkable encyclopedia covers a wide array of events, legislation, court decisions, cultural achievements, speeches, organizations, and personalities that have contributed to the cause of African-American civil rights--from the Albany, Georgia "sit-in" of 1961 to the racially motivated killing of Samuel Younge in 1966; from the unjustifiable "Jim Crow" laws of the 1870s to President Bush's veto of the Civil Rights Act of 1990; from the first black illustrated newspaper, the Indianapolis Freeman, to the literary figures of the Harlem Renaissance. Outlined are the non-violent protests led by Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as the radical confrontationalism of Malcolm X. The peaceful 1964 March on Washington contrasts sharply with the Detroit race riots of 1967--but all the events covered in this volume are objectively and comprehensively summarized. The constant strugglesagainst racism, segregation, and lack of opportunity are chronicled in more than 800 useful and readable entries. Written by over 100 authors, the entries also provide ready access to relevant literature in the field. The encyclopedia also contains a chronology, a general bibliography, and a subject index. It includes almost 100 illustrations.


David J. Garrow

This Encyclopedia of African-American Civil Rights is a valuable and informative reference volume, but it is also so rich a source of important sketches and instructive bibliographical references that it deserves--and encourages--a fairly thorough reading even by knowledgeable senior scholars.

The range and breadth of entries is oftentimes as impressive as it is informative. Most importantly, any thoughtful perusal of the volume-- whether thorough or cursory--will quickly bring home to any reader what a large number of individuals, organizations, and events there are from these last ten decades of Afro-American history which deserve greater and more extensive historical research and study than has yet been the case.

As many scholars now recognize, current and future research in Afro- American history will increasingly treat a wider and wider range of participants and events. To date a disproportionate amount of historical attention has been focused on nationally prominent individuals and on organizations that received significant contemporaneous news coverage, but there is widespread appreciation that increased attention to "grass roots" individuals and organizations is our future direction, just as there also is growing appreciation of the importance of "local" history and events. Less and less will Afro-American history look at the black experience in America largely through a prism of national news and/or national politics.

No one can peruse this volume without thinking again and again about otherwise obscure and/or often unremembered individuals, protests, and court cases that merit a greater presence in secondary sources and textbook surveys than is presently the case. Probably every contributor . . .

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