Daily Life in the United States, 1960-1990: Decades of Discord

By Myron A. Marty | Go to book overview

10 Civil Rights and Group Identities

By the late 1960s it was obvious that if enacting civil rights laws was difficult, changing practices was going to be even harder. Still harder was changing attitudes. Growing impatience by blacks was understandable. A year after his speech at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, when he spoke hopefully of his dream that "someday" freedom would ring in America, Martin Luther King, Jr. published a book entitled Why We Can't Wait. Challenges to his leadership by more radical figures--Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael, and the Black Panthers, among others--and changing circumstances in 1967 compelled him to become more radical too.

African Americans

Television networks that year brought the nation live coverage of riots in Detroit. Scenes of looting, fires, injuries, and deaths reminded viewers of the riots in Watts two years earlier. The next year a commission appointed by President Johnson to investigate the causes of civil disorders formally reported that the United States was moving toward two societies, "one black, one white--separate and unequal."

Did it have to be that way? In the year that Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke passionately of his dream for America, novelist James Baldwin acknowledged that creating one nation had proved to be "a hideously difficult task." The past that blacks had endured, a past "of rope, fire, torture, castration, infanticide, rape; death and humiliation; fear by day and night, fear as deep as the marrow of the bone," had forced them each day to "snatch their manhood, their identity, out of the fire of human cruelty that rages to destroy it." In so doing, Baldwin wrote in The FireNext Time

The Fire Next Time

-87-

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Daily Life in the United States, 1960-1990: Decades of Discord
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in the Greenwood Press "Daily Life through History" Series ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Notes xiii
  • Introduction xv
  • Introduction xix
  • Part I - Modern Times Flourish and Fade: 1960-1966 1
  • 1 - Family Life 3
  • 2 - Changing Population Patterns 11
  • 3 - Private and Public Lives 25
  • 4 - Consumers in the Material World 35
  • 5 - The Other America 43
  • 6 - Mind and Spirit 51
  • 7 - Technology in Daily Life 57
  • 8 - Cultural Transformations 65
  • Part II - Troubled Times: 1967-1974 77
  • 9 - Changing Families 79
  • 10 - Civil Rights and Group Identities 87
  • 11 - Securities Shaken 99
  • 12 - Cultural Reflections/Cultural Influences 115
  • 13 - Material Aspects of Life 127
  • 14 - Environmental and Consumer Protection 141
  • 15 - Technology's Small Steps and Giant Leaps 149
  • 16 - Hard Knocks for Schools 159
  • 17 - Spiritual Matters 169
  • 18 - Not Ready for New Times 175
  • Part III - Times of Adjustment, 1975-1980 179
  • 19 - Family Changes Continue 181
  • 20 - The Peoples of America 187
  • 21 - Security Concerns 195
  • 22 - Television, Movies, and More 205
  • 23 - Cares of Daily Life 215
  • 24 - Arenas of Discord 225
  • 25 - Pulling Together 239
  • Part IV - Crossing the Postmodern Divide: 1981-1990 245
  • 26 - Family Variations 247
  • 27 - People at the Margins 255
  • 28 - Security Concerns Continue 265
  • 29 - Diversions 277
  • 30 - Concerns of Daily Life 291
  • 31 - Technology 303
  • 32 - More Discord 309
  • 33 - Prospects 331
  • Selected Bibliography 337
  • Index 353
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