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Running for Freedom: Civil Rights and Black Politics in America since 1941

ISBN: 978-1-118-83654-5
464 pages
November 2014, ©2015, Wiley-Blackwell
Running for Freedom: Civil Rights and Black Politics in America since 1941 (1118836545) cover image


Running for Freedom, Fourth Edition, updates historian Steven Lawson’s classic volume detailing the history of African-American civil rights and black politics from the beginning of World War II to the present day.

Offers comprehensive coverage of the African-American struggle for civil rights in the U.S. from 1941 to 2014

Integrates events relating to America’s civil rights story at both the local and national levels

Features new material on Obama’s first term in office and the first year of his second term

Includes addition of such timely issues as the Trayvon Martin case, the March on Washington 5oth anniversary, state voter suppression efforts, and Supreme Court ruling on Voting Rights Act

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Table of Contents

List of Images viii

Preface to the Fourth Edition x

Acknowledgments xiii

Abbreviations Used in the Text xiv

1 World War II and the Origins of the Freedom Struggle 1

2 Ballots, Boycotts, and the Building of a National Agenda 36

3 Surging Protest, Shifting Politics 72

4 Reenfranchisement and Racial Consciousness 108

5 The New Black Politicians: From Protest to Empowerment 150

6 Progress and Poverty: Politics in a Conservative Era 185

7 In Search of Legitimacy 221

8 Hope and Despair: The 1990s 258

9 Still Running for Freedom 298

10 Toward a “More Perfect Union”: The Obama Presidency 342

Bibliographical Essay 393

Index 429

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Author Information

Steven F. Lawson is Professor Emeritus at Rutgers University. He has served as an adviser to the television documentary series Eyes on the Prize and has participated as an historical consultant on voting rights cases. His publications include Black Ballots: Voting Rights in the South, 1944–1969 (1976), In Pursuit of Power: Southern Blacks and Electoral Politics, 1965–1982 (1985), Civil Rights Crossroads: Nation, Community, and the Black Freedom Struggle (2003), and To Secure These Rights: The Report of President Harry S Truman’s Committee on Civil Rights (2004).

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"This book travels an amazing journey from the days of Jim Crow racism through the unfinished age of Obama, and provides the best synthesis history of the civil rights movement.”- Brian Purnell, Bowdoin College

"In this engaging and inspiring narrative, Steven F. Lawson shows us how African Americans’ long struggle for freedom, equality, and human dignity forever altered the arc of human history. Lawson reminds us that freedom is a constant struggle; democracy and justice are hard work; and race and racial politics remain touchstones of the 21st century." -Danielle McGuire, Wayne State University

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