An Army of Lions: The Civil Rights Struggle before the NAACP

By Shawn Leigh Alexander | Go to book overview

Chapter 7
An Army of Mice or an Army of Lions?

We must cease us from our forming
Each his little worthless band,
And it leading to destroy
Th e very things that ought to stand—
And must stand all linked together
Not a single one left out,
If we’d power have to battle
Th ings which we should put to rout.

—Clarence Emery Allen

Members of the Afro- American Council were determined that the tempests of 1903 would not become the hurricane of 1904. Despite the fact that the orga ni zation had been successful in instituting national and local suits aimed at protecting the rights of African Americans, the failure to achieve quick or significant victories in those cases prevented the group from gaining the respect and backing of a large segment of the community. Furthermore, the public presence of Booker T. Washington among the Council’s ranks had made a great number of activists uneasy. These issues plagued the Council in late 1903 and early 1904 and would soon lead to the creation of other national civil rights organizations that would compete with the Council for the community support and resources it so desperately needed. In fact, during 1904 and 1905, the African American community would see the development of three new national civil rights organizations: the Committee of Twelve, the Constitution League, and the Niagara Movement. All of these organizations in some shape or form were an outgrowth of the Afro- American Council.

-220-

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An Army of Lions: The Civil Rights Struggle before the NAACP
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents ix
  • Preface xi
  • Chapter 1 - Aceldama and the Black Response 1
  • Chapter 2 - "Stand Their Ground on This Civil Rights Business" 23
  • Chapter 3 - Interregnum and Resurrection 66
  • Chapter 4 - Not Just "A Bubble in Soap Water" 98
  • Chapter 5 - To Awaken the Conscience of America 135
  • Chapter 6 - Invasion of the Tuskegee Machine 177
  • Chapter 7 - An Army of Mice or an Army of Lions? 220
  • Chapter 8 - "It Is Strike Now or Never" 262
  • Epilogue 297
  • Abbreviations 301
  • Notes 303
  • Index 375
  • Acknowledgments 380
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