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The Struggle for Black Equality, 1954-1992 (American Century Series) Revised Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0374523565
ISBN-10: 0374523568
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About the Author

Harvard Sitkoff, professor of history at the University of New Hampshire, is the author of New Deal for Blacks and editor of Fifty Years Later: The New Deal Evaluted and A History of Our Time.
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Product Details

  • Series: American Century Series
  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Hill and Wang; Revised edition (January 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374523568
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374523565
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #333,724 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
I had to read this book for my History 401 class, a week long seminar recently completed. I was not particularly staggered by anything in it but it was pretty solid
Some of the more interesting things about this book include its portrayal of Martin Luther King and the evolution of his thinking. After the civil rights laws of 1964-65, King began to turn more and more towards criticising American capitalism and imperialism in Vietnam (of which he was one of the very first to speak out against). The commercially acceptable version of course is his warm and fuzzy "I have a dream" speech of the march on Washington which was orginally initially to be a mass sit-in at congress, the white house lawn and other government buildings with an emphasis on demanding economic rights but was pressured by the Kennedy administration into being very watered down.
The civil rights period was basically one where tens of thousands of blacks (and whites) risked mental and physical torture and even death to try to dismantle a fascist police state in the South and to try to badger the federal government to enforce its own basic laws on behalf of blacks. But if blacks now increasingly had the glorious right to vote, if they had more opportunities to advance in white capitalist society, they still had no infrastructure in their communities, were still at the mercy of white landlords, police and businesses which overcharged them as consumers and paid them starvation wages as laborers. The ideas of "Black Power" from Malcolm X to the Black Panthers tried to deal with these problems. Since then some things have got better and some things have got worse.
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Format: Paperback
When I saw this book on a list of book choices for U.S. History AP, I thought it would be a one-sided view and not expresses the beliefs of all races, specifically blacks. However, it was extremely detailed and went through every phase of the struggle. The text was not filled with statistics, as books often are about this topic. Specific incidents weren't in any way 'sugar-coated' and it was clear that the black struggle has been worse than the media and even our presidents have ever admitted. The last chapter, and the most current, proves that few strides have been taken to improve the lives of blacks. We see that times are getting better, but not for all people. Harvard Sitkoff has composed an excellent book that can open the eyes of anyone. A must-read for all!
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Format: Paperback
The Struggle for Black Equality is an essential book for those (and they should be numerous) interested in the civil rights struggle in the U.S. It provides a necessary background in this field, together with the depth and style both the authors are capable of. Thematically as well as chronolically organized, this book can be useful for "beginners" in the field of American Black History, as well as for more advanced students in search of a good reference book.
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