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The Struggle for Black Equality, 1954-1992 (American Century Series) Revised Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›