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Origins of the Civil Rights Movements Paperback – September 15, 1986

ISBN-13: 978-0029221303 ISBN-10: 0029221307 Edition: 1st Free Press Pbk. Ed

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Origins of the Civil Rights Movements + Political Process and the Development of Black Insurgency, 1930-1970, 2nd Edition + Race, Reform, and Rebellion: The Second Reconstruction and Beyond in Black America, 1945-2006, Third Edition
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; 1st Free Press Pbk. Ed edition (September 15, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0029221307
  • ISBN-13: 978-0029221303
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #244,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Jan Derrick on August 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
Articulate and provocative, Aldon Morris' study of the American Civil Rights Movement is a comprehensive and comprehensible analysis of a strategic struggle for human survival and essential dignity. Emphasizing that African Americans have rarely accepted the subordinate position forced upon them, that the Civil Rights Movement was carefully orchestrated rather than a series of random events, and that women played a critical role in the organization and implementation of the movement, Morris incisively resurrects and dismantles official discourses. In the tradition of John Hope Franklin's "From Slavery to Freedom", Lerone Bennett's "Forced into Glory", and Ivan Van Sertima's "They Came Before Columbus", Morris reconstructs history with a fresh perspective. Morris' extensive use of the interview technique enables the reader to probe the minds of the makers and shakers of the movement, as we hear them speak in their own words. Somewhat academic in its approach, yet eminently readable, "Origins of the Civil Rights Movement" can be understood and appreciated by middle school students, academicians, and history buffs alike. It is a must-read for those interested in a complete understanding of American history in general and of African American history in particular.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Puff on October 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
Aldon Morris writes the history of the Civil Rights Movement as the gradual organization of black communities in the South in response to Jim Crow. Morris' account begins with early protests in North Carolina, Tennessee and other peripheral states that multiplied and culminated in the more well-known actions in Alabama and Georiga. Throughout the account, Morris emphasizes the indigenous nature of the movement - black communities organizing around black institutions (the black church) with their own financial and infrastructural resources.

The research for the project was conducted via interviews with many of the movement's leaders, so Morris is able to give first-hand accounts of the way protests were conducted and of the motivations for organizing in certain ways at certain times. His account is extraordinarily rich and touches on the interplay between the often conflicting personalities of movement leaders. He describes the means and motivation of the adoption of the non-violent protest method and, to a lesser extent, the roles played by women in the movement. He also deals in passing with the ideological treatment of homosexuality by movement leaders.

As an account of how the civil rights movement developed in the South, Morris' book is exceptional. It reads as well as a novel and uses the input of first-hand sources to make its story as much personal as academic, without losing its integrity.

Some have argued that Morris neglects the role of women in the movement and this might be a fair criticism. But inasmuch as he argues that the civil rights movement was organized around and by the leaders of the black church, he justifies his focus on the (male) Baptist minister as a principle leader of movement activities. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to better understand how the Civil Rights Movement was carried out in the United States.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Flood on February 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
When Professor Morris wrote this book, he did not have access to the published edition of King's papers. If he did, he would not have created the impression (on page 190) that King was in Miami in September 1959 and January 1960.

The chronology given in Vol. V (p. 59) of the Carson-edited papers, published in 2005, shows that while King did indeed conduct "Interracial Action Institute" training sessions in Miami, he did so on August 31 and September 1, 1960. Carson's chronology for 1959 excludes the possibility that King conducted such sessions in that city in that year. (There is no evidence that King was even in Miami for any part of 1959 or January 1960.)

The sentence "Dr. King assisted in the training of young people in one of the C.O.R.E. workshops," is not false, but its position in that paragraph strongly suggests (what is not true) that King conducted one of the Miami workshops that Professor Morris referred to in his preceding sentence.

For a photo of King conducting one of those C.O.R.E. sessions in Miami, go to [...]
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By cerwin2 on May 15, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have not had a chance to crack it open yet because I have about a 1,00 books in front of me before I can touch this one. But it is supposed to be a great look into the stirrings of the civil rights movements.
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