For this assignment read the article attached below. Then answer this question. Paragraph must be 6-8 sentences.Question: What History of the US in the 20th century does the author promote?img_1151.jpg_dowd_hall_the_long_civil_rights_movement_and_the_political_uses_of_the_past.pdfUnformatted Attachment PreviewThe Long Civil Rights Movement and the Political Uses of the PastAuthor(s): Jacquelyn Dowd HallReviewed work(s):Source: The Journal of American History, Vol. 91, No. 4 (Mar., 2005), pp. 1233-1263Published by: Organization of American HistoriansStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3660172 .Accessed: 24/04/2012 05:03Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at .http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspJSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range ofcontent in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected] of American Historians is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access toThe Journal of American History.http://www.jstor.orgTheLongandtheCivilPoliticalMovementRightsUsesofthePastJacquelynDowd HallThe black revolution is much more than a strugglefor the rights of Negroes. It isforcing America to face all its interrelatedflaws-racism, poverty,militarism,andmaterialism.It is exposingevils that are rooted deeply in the whole structureof oursociety … and suggeststhat radicalreconstructionof society is the real issue to befaced.-Martin LutherKingJr.Storiesarewonderfulthings.And they aredangerous.-Thomas KingThe civil rights movement circulates through American memory in forms andthrough channels that are at once powerful, dangerous, and hotly contested. Civilrights memorials jostle with the South’s ubiquitous monuments to its Confederatepast. Exemplary scholarship and documentaries abound, and participants have produced wave after wave of autobiographical accounts, at least two hundred to date.Images of the movement appear and reappear each year on Martin Luther King Jr.Day and during Black History Month. Yet remembrance is always a form of forgetting, and the dominant narrative of the civil rights movement-distilled from historyand memory, twisted by ideology and political contestation, and embedded in heritage tours, museums, public rituals, textbooks, and various artifacts of mass culture-distorts and suppresses as much as it reveals.’JacquelynDowd Hall is Julia Cherry Spruill Professorof History at the Universityof North Carolina and directorof the Southern Oral History Program.This article is a revisedversion of the presidentialaddressdeliveredto theconvention of the Organizationof American Historians in Boston on March 27, 2004.Writing this essay led me to conversationwith a far-flungnetwork of friends and colleagues, and I thank themfor their encouragementand generous sharing of ideas. Among them were JeffersonCowie, Jane Dailey, MatthewLassiter, Nelson Lichtenstein, Eric Lott, Nancy MacLean, Bryant Simon, and Karen Kruse Thomas. LauraEdwards, Drew Faust, Glenda Gilmore, Jeanne Grimm, Pamela Grundy, Bethany Johnson, Robert Korstad,Joanne Meyerowitz, Timothy McCarthy,Joe Mosnier, Kathryn Nasstrom, Della Pollock, Jennifer Ritterhouse,and SarahThuesen also offered astute comments on the manuscriptin its various iterations.I benefited especiallyfrom BethanyJohnson’sresearchand editorialskills, and ElizabethMore providedadditional researchassistance.Afellowship at the RadcliffeInstitute for Advanced Study providedan ideal community in which to think and write.1 On civil rights autobiographiesandhistories, see Kathryn L. Nasstrom, “Between Memory and History:Autobiographiesof the Civil Rights Movement and the Writing of a New Civil Rights History,”National Endowment for the Humanities Lecture,University of San Francisco,April 29, 2002 (in JacquelynDowd Hall’s possession); Steven F. Lawson, “FreedomThen, Freedom Now: The Historiographyof the Civil Rights Movement,”AmericanHistoricalReview,96 (April 1991), 456-71; Adam Fairclough,”Historiansand the Civil Rights Movement,”JournalofAmericanStudies,24 (Dec. 1990), 387-98; CharlesM. Payne, I’ve Got the Light of Freedom:TheThe Journal of American HistoryMarch 200512331234TheJournalof AmericanHistoryMarch2005phaseof the strugCenteringon what BayardRustin in 1965 called the “classical”gle, the dominant narrativechroniclesa short civil rightsmovement that begins withthe 1954 Brownv. BoardofEducationdecision, proceedsthroughpublic protests,andculminateswith the passageof the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting RightsAct of 1965.2 Then comes the decline. After a season of moral clarity,the country isbeset by the Vietnam War, urban riots, and reactionagainstthe excessesof the late1960s and the 1970s, understood variously as student rebellion, black militancy,feminism, busing, affirmativeaction, or an overweeningwelfare state. A so-calledwhite backlashsets the stage for the conservativeinterregnumthat, for good or ill,dependingon one’sideologicalpersuasion,marksthe beginning of anotherstory,thestory that surroundsus now.Martin Luther King Jr. is this narrative’sdefining figure-frozen in 1963, proclaiming “I have a dream”during the march on the Mall. Endlesslyreproducedandselectivelyquoted, his speeches retain their majestyyet lose their political bite. Wehearlittle of the King who believedthat “theracialissue that we confrontin Americais not a sectionalbut a nationalproblem”and who attackedsegregationin the urbanNorth. Erasedaltogetheris the King who opposed the Vietnam War and linked racism at home to militarismand imperialismabroad. Gone is King the democraticsocialistwho advocatedunionization,planned the Poor People’sCampaign,and wasassassinatedin 1968 while supportinga sanitationworkers’strike.3By confining the civil rightsstruggleto the South, to bowdlerizedheroes,to a single halcyon decade, and to limited, noneconomic objectives, the master narrativesimultaneouslyelevates and diminishes the movement. It ensures the status of theclassicalphase as a triumphalmoment in a largerAmericanprogressnarrative,yet itunderminesits gravitas.It preventsone of the most remarkablemass movements inAmericanhistory from speakingeffectivelyto the challengesof our time.OrganizingTraditionand the MississippiFreedomStruggle(Berkeley,1995), 413-41; CharlesW. Eagles, “TowardNew Histories of the Civil Rights Era,”Journalof SouthernHistory,66 (Nov. 2000), 815-48; and Kevin Gaines,“The Historiographyof the Struggle for Black Equality since 1945,” in A Companionto Post-1945 America,ed.Jean-ChristopheAgnew and Roy Rosenzweig (Malden, Mass., 2002), 211-34. In contrastto the vast literatureonwhat the movement was and did, the scholarshipon how it is rememberedis scatteredand thin. For examples,seeDavid A. Zonderman, review of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, Birmingham Civil RightsInstitute, and National Civil Rights Museum, Journal ofAmerican History,91 (June 2004), 174-83; Kathryn L.Nasstrom, “Down to Now: Memory, Narrative, and Women’s Leadership in the Civil Rights Movement inAtlanta, Georgia,”Genderand History,11 (April 1999), 113-44; TerrieL. Epstein, “Talesfrom Two Textbooks:AComparison of the Civil Rights Movement in Two Secondary History Textbooks,”Social Studies,85 (May-June1994), 121-26; William A. Link, review of the film The Road to Brown, by William A. Ellwood, Mykola Kulish,and Gary Weimberg, HistoryofEducation Quarterly,31 (Winter 1991), 523-26; and an anthology in progress:Leigh Raifordand Renee Romano, eds., “‘FreedomIs a Constant Struggle’:The Civil Rights Movement in UnitedStates Memory”(in Leigh Raifordand Renee Romano’spossession).2 BayardRustin, Down the Line: The CollectedWritingsofBayardRustin(Chicago, 1971), 111-22, esp. 111.Martin Luther King Jr., “The Rising Tide of Racial Consciousness (1960),” in I Have a Dream: WritingsandSpeechesThat Changedthe World,ed. James Melvin Washington (San Francisco, 1992), 67. For early protestsagainst the tendency to idolize King and to ignore his radicalismand that of the grassroots, see “ARound Table:Martin Luther King Jr.,”JournalofAmericanHistory,74 (Sept. 1987), 436-81. For a call for attention to the laterKing years, see Michael Honey, “Laborand Civil Rights Movements at the Cross-Roads:Martin Luther King,BlackWorkers,and the Memphis Sanitation Strike,”paperdeliveredat the annual meeting of the OrganizationofAmerican Historians, Memphis, Tenn., April 2003 (in Hall’s possession).CivilRightsandthe PoliticalUsesof the Past1235XWhilethe narrativeI have recounted has multiple sources, this essay emphasizeshow the movement’smeaning has been distortedand reifiedby a New Right bent onreversingits gains. I will then tracethe contours of what I take to be a more robust,more progressive,and truerstory-the story of a “long civil rights movement”thattook root in the liberaland radicalmilieu of the late 1930s, was intimately tied tothe “riseand fall of the New Deal Order,”acceleratedduringWorldWarII, stretchedfar beyond the South, was continuously and ferociouslycontested, and in the 1960sand 1970s inspireda “movementof movements”that “def[ies]any narrativeof collapse.”4Integralto that more expansivestory is the dialectic between the movement andthe so-calledbacklashagainstit, a wall of resistancethat did not appearsuddenly inthe much-maligned1970s, but arosein tandem with the civil rightsoffensivein theaftermathof World War II and culminated under the aegis of the New Right. Theeconomic dimensionsof the movement lie at the core of my concerns,and throughout I will drawattention to the interweavingsof gender,class,and race. In this essay,however,racialnarrativesand dilemmaswill take center stage, for, as Lani Guinierand GeraldTorressuggest, “Thosewho are raciallymarginalizedare like the miner’scanary:their distressis the first sign ofa dangerthat threatensus all.”5A desire to understandand honor the movement lies at the heart of the rich andevolving literatureon the 1950s and early 1960s, and that era’schroniclershavehelped endow the strugglewith an auraof culturallegitimacythat both reflectsandreinforcesits profound legal, political, and social effects. By placing the world-shaking events of the classicalphase in the context of a longer story, I want to buttressthat representationalproject and reinforcethe moral authorityof those who foughtfor change in those years. At the same time, I want to make civil rights harder.Harderto celebrateas a naturalprogressionof Americanvalues. Harderto cast as asatisfyingmoralitytale. Most of all, harderto simplify,appropriate,and contain.6The Political Uses of RacialNarrativesThe roots of the dominant narrativelie in the dance between the movement’sstrategists and the media’sresponse.In one dramaticprotestafteranother,civil rightsactivists couched their demands in the language of democratic rights and Christianuniversalism;demonstratedtheir own respectabilityand courage;and pitted coercivenonviolenceagainstguns, nightsticks,and fists. Playedout in the courts,in legislativechambers, in workplaces, and in the streets, those social dramas toppled the South’ssystem of disfranchisementand de jure or legalizedsegregationby forcing the hand4Steve Fraserand Gary Gerstle, eds., TheRiseand Fall of the New Deal Order,1930-1980 (Princeton, 1989);Van Gosse, “AMovement of Movements: The Definition and Periodizationof the New Left,” in CompaniontoPost-1945America,ed. Agnew and Rosenzweig,277-302, esp. 282.5 The meaning of raceand racismin Americahas alwaysbeen inflected by ethnic exclusions and identities, andit has been complicated by the demographic changes in the late twentieth century. In this essay,however, I limitmy focus to the black-white divide. Lani Guinier and Gerald Torres, TheMiner’sCanary:EnlistingRace,ResistingPower,TransformingDemocracy(Cambridge,Mass., 2002), 11.6Kevin Mattson, “Civil Rights Made Harder,” Reviews in American History, 30 (Dec. 2002), 663-70.1236TheJournalof AmericanHistoryMarch2005of federalofficialsand bringinglocal governmentsto theirknees. The massmedia, inturn, made the protests “one of the great news stories of the modern era,”but theydid so very selectively.Journalists’interestwaxedand waned alongwith activists’ability to generatecharismaticpersonalities(who were usuallymen) and telegenic confrontations, preferably those in which white villains rained down terror onnonviolent demonstratorsdressedin their Sundaybest. Broughtinto Americanlivingrooms by the seductive new medium of television and replayed ever since, suchscenes seem to come out of nowhere, to have no precedents,no historicalroots. Tocompound that distortion, the national press’soverwhelminglysympathetic,if misleading, coveragechangedabruptlyin the mid-1960s with the adventof blackpowerand black uprisings in the urban North. Traininga hostile eye on those developments, the camerasturned away from the South, ignoring the southern campaign’sevolving goals, obscuring interregionalconnections and similarities,and creatinganarrativebreachbetween what people think of as “themovement”and the ongoingpopularstrugglesof the late 1960s and the 1970s.’Earlystudiesof the blackfreedommovement often hewed closely to the journalistic “roughdraftof history,”replicatingits judgmentsand trajectory.More recenthistories, memoirs, and documentarieshave struggledto loosen its hold.8 Why, then,has the dominant narrativeseemed only to consolidateits power?The answerlies, in7Julian Bond, “The Media and the Movement: Looking Back from the Southern Front,”in Media, Culture,and the ModernAfricanAmericanFreedomStruggle,ed. Brian Ward (Gainesville, 2001), 16-40, esp. 32. See alsoRobert J. Norrell, “One Thing We Did Right: Reflections on the Movement,” in New Directionsin Civil RightsStudies,ed. ArmsteadL. Robinson and PatriciaSullivan (Charlottesville,1991), 72-73, 77; and Payne, I’ve Got theLight ofFreedom,391-405.8 Payne, Itve Got the Light ofFreedom,391. For works that stressthe events of the classicalphase but also highlight the long trajectoryof the movement, see ibid.; Manning Marable, Race, Reform,and Rebellion:The Secondin BlackAmerica,1945-1990 (Jackson, 1991); Steven E Lawson, Runningfor Freedom:Civil RightsReconstructionand BlackPoliticsin Americasince 1941 (New York, 1997); Adam Fairclough,Raceand Democracy:The Civil RightsStrugglein Louisiana, 1915-1972 (Athens, Ga., 1995); and Greta De Jong, A DifferentDay: AfricanAmericanStrugglesfor Justice in Rural Louisiana, 1900-1970 (Chapel Hill, 2002). Community studies tend to blur theboundariesof the dominant narrative,and biographiesoften illuminate North/South linkagesand the fluidity anddiversityof the movement. See, for example, George Lipsitz,A Life in the Struggle:IvoryPerryand the CultureofOpposition(Philadelphia, 1995). For a growing chorus of calls for a broaderscholarly focus, see Robert Korstadand Nelson Lichtenstein, “Opportunities Found and Lost: Labor, Radicals, and the Early Civil Rights Movement,”Journal ofAmerican History,75 (Dec. 1988), 786-811; Timothy B. Tyson, “Robert E Williams, ‘BlackPower,’and the Roots of the AfricanAmerican Freedom Struggle,”ibid, 85 (Sept. 1998), 540-70; Julian Bond,“The Politics of Civil Rights History,”in New Directionsin Civil RightsStudies,ed. Robinson and Sullivan, 8-16;Payne, I’ve Got the Light ofFreedom,3, 391-405, 413-41; CharlesPayne, “Debating the Civil Rights Movement:The View from the Trenches,”in Debating the Civil RightsMovement, 1945-1968, by Steven E Lawson andCharles Payne (Lanham, 1998), 108-11; Peniel E. Joseph, “Waitingtill the Midnight Hour: Reconceptualizingthe Heroic Period of the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965,” Souls, 2 (Spring 2000), 6-17; Jacquelyn DowdHall, “MobilizingMemory: BroadeningOur View of the Civil Rights Movement,” ChronicleofHigher Education,July 27, 2001, pp. B7-B 11; Nell Irvin Painter,”AmericaNeeds to ReexamineIts Civil Rights History,”JournalofBlacksin HigherEducation,Aug. 31, 2001, pp. 132-34; Brian Ward, “Introduction:ForgottenWails and MasterNarratives:Media, Culture, and Memories of the Modern African American Freedom Struggle,”in Media, Culture,and the ModernAfricanAmericanFreedomStruggle,ed. Ward, 1-15; Robert O. Self, AmericanBabylon:Raceand the Strugglefor PostwarOakland (Princeton, 2003), 10-11, 330-31; Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, “Foreword,”in FreedomNorth:BlackFreedomStrugglesoutsidethe South, 1940-1980, ed. JeanneTheoharis and KomoziWoodard (New York, 2003), viii-xvi; Jeanne Theoharis, “Introduction,”ibid., 1-15; Van Gosse, “PostmodernAmerica:A New Democratic Order in the Second Gilded Age,”in The Worldthe SixtiesMade:Politicsand Culturein RecentAmerica,ed. Van Gosse and RichardMoser (Philadelphia,2003), 1-36; JackDougherty,More Than OneStruggle:TheEvolutionofBlack SchoolReformin Milwaukee(Chapel Hill, 2004), 1-4; and Nikhil Pal Singh, BlackIs a Country:Raceand the UnfinishedStrugglefor Democracy(Cambridge,Mass., 2004), 4-14.CivilRightsandthe PoliticalUsesof the Past1237part, in the rise of other storytellers-the architectsof the New Right, an allianceofcorporatepower brokers,old-style conservativeintellectuals,and “neoconservatives”(disillusionedliberalsand socialiststurned Cold Warhawks).The Old Right, North and South, had been on the wrong side of the revolution,opposing the civil rights movement and revilingits leadersin the name of propertyrights, states’ rights, anticommunism, and the God-given, biological inferiorityofblacks.Largelymoribund by the 1960s, the conservativemovement reinventeditselfin the 1970s, first by incorporatingneoconservativeswho eschewed old-fashionedracismand then by embracingan ideal of formalequality,focusing on blacks’ostensible failings, and positioning itself as the true inheritor of the civil rights legacy.9Like all bids for discursiveand political power, this one requiredthe warrantof thepast, and the dominant narrativeof the civil rights movement was ready at hand.Reworkingthat narrativefor their own purposes, these new “color-blindconservatives”ignored the complexityand dynamismof the movement, its growingfocus onstructuralinequality,and its “radicalreconstruction”goals. Instead,they insisted thatcolor blindness-defined as the eliminationof racialclassificationsand the establishment of formal equalitybefore the law-was the movement’ssingularobjective,theprinciplefor which King and the Browndecision, in particular,stood. They admittedthat racism, understood as individual bigotry, did exist-“in the distant past” andprimarilyin the South-a concession that surelywould have taken the Old Right bysurprise.10But after legalizedJim Crow was dismantled, such irrationalitiesdiminished to insignificance.In the absence of overtly discriminatorylaws and with thewaning of conscious bias, Americaninstitutions became basicallyfair. Free to compete in a market-drivensociety,AfricanAmericansthereafterbore the onus of theirown failureor success.If starkgroup inequalitiespersisted,black attitudes,behavior,and family structureswere to blame. The race-consciousremediesdevised in the late1960s and 1970s to implement the movement’svictories,such as majority-minorityvoting districts,minority businessset-asides,affirmativeaction, and two-waybusing,were not the handiworkof the authentic civil rights movement at all. Foisted on anunwitting public by a “liberalelite”made up of judges, intellectuals,and governmentbureaucrats,those policies not only betrayedthe movement’soriginalgoals;they alsohad little effect on the economic progressblacksenjoyedin the late 1960s and 1970s,which was caused not by grass-rootsactivism or governmentalintervention but byIs Not9For a bracinglook at the reinventionof the Rightin the 1970s, see NancyMacLean,”FreedomAmerica(Cambridge,Mass.,forthcoming),chap.7. I amEnough”How theFightoverJobsandJusticeChangedindebted to MacLean for sharing her work w …Purchase answer to see fullattachment.
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