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The remarkable, lasting achievements of the NAACP's first sixty years at the forefront of the struggle against American racism are detailed in a history that provides a detailed history of the organization's formative years and its role in key events and aspects of the civil rights movement.
The Crisis, founded by W.E.B. Du Bois as the official publication of the NAACP, is a journal of civil rights, history, politics, and culture and seeks to educate and challenge its readers about issues that continue to plague African Americans and other communities of color. For nearly 100 years, The Crisis has been the magazine of opinion and thought leaders, decision makers, peacemakers and justice seekers. It has chronicled, informed, educated, entertained and, in many instances, set the economic, political and social agenda for our nation and its multi-ethnic citizens.
A record of the darker races.
Roy Wilkins (1901--1981) spent forty-six years of his life serving the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and led the organization for more than twenty years. Under his leadership, the NAACP spearheaded efforts that contributed to landmark civil rights legislation, including the 1964 Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act. In Roy Wilkins: The Quiet Revolutionary and the NAACP, Yvonne Ryan offers the first biography of this influential activist, as well as an analysis of his significant contributions to civil rights in America. While activists in Alabama were treading the highways between Selma and Montgomery, Wilkins was walking the corridors of power in Washington, D.C., working tirelessly in the background to ensure that the rights they fought for were protected through legislation and court rulings. With his command of congressional procedure and networking expertise, Wilkins was regarded as a strong and trusted presence on Capitol Hill, and received greater access to the Oval Office than any other civil rights leader during the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson. Roy Wilkins fills a significant gap in the history of the civil rights movement, objectively exploring the career and impact of one of its forgotten leaders. The quiet revolutionary, who spent his life navigating the Washington political system, affirmed the extraordinary and courageous efforts of the many men and women who braved the dangers of the southern streets and challenged injustice to achieve equal rights for all Americans.
Ella Josephine Baker (1903-1986) was among the most influential strategists of the most important social movement in modern US history, the Civil Rights Movement, yet most Americans have never heard of her. Behind the scenes, she organized on behalf of the major civil rights organizations of her day—the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC), and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)—among many other activist groups. As she once told an interviewer, “[Y]ou didn’t see me on television, you didn’t see news stories about me. The kind of role that I tried to play was to pick up pieces or put pieces together out of which I hoped organization might come. My theory is, strong people don’t need strong leaders.” Rejecting charismatic leadership as a means of social change, Baker invented a form of grassroots community organizing for social justice that had a profound impact on the struggle for civil rights and continues to inspire agents of change on behalf of a wide variety of social issues. In this book, historian J. Todd Moye masterfully reconstructs Baker’s life and contribution for a new generation of readers. Those who despair that the civil rights story is told too often from the top down and at the dearth of accessible works on women who helped shape the movement will welcome this new addition to the Library of African American Biography series, designed to provide concise, readable, and up-to-date lives of leading black figures in American history.
Bourgeois Radicals explores the NAACP's key role in the liberation of Africans and Asians across the globe even as it fought Jim Crow on the home front during the long civil rights movement. For NAACP's leaders, the way to create a stable international system, stave off communism in Africa and Asia, and prevent capitalist exploitation was to embed human rights, with its economic and cultural protections, in the transformation of colonies into nations. Indeed, the NAACP aided in the liberation struggles of multiple African and Asian countries within the limited ideological space of the Second Red Scare. However, its vision of a 'third way' to democracy for the hundreds of millions in Asia and Africa was only partially realized due to a toxic combination of the Cold War, Jim Crow, and imperialism. Bourgeois Radicals examines the toll that internationalism took on the organization and illuminates the linkages between the struggle for human rights and the fight for colonial independence.
In Men, Mobs, and Law, Rebecca N. Hill compares two seemingly unrelated types of leftist protest campaigns: those intended to defend labor organizers from prosecution and those seeking to memorialize lynching victims and stop the practice of lynching. Arguing that these forms of protest are related and have substantially influenced one another, Hill points out that both worked to build alliances through appeals to public opinion in the media, by defining the American state as a force of terror, and by creating a heroic identity for their movements. Each has played a major role in the history of radical politics in the United States. Hill illuminates that history by considering the narratives produced during the abolitionist John Brown’s trials and execution, analyzing the defense of the Chicago anarchists of the Haymarket affair, and comparing Ida B. Wells’s and the NAACP’s anti-lynching campaigns to the Industrial Workers of the World’s early-twentieth-century defense campaigns. She also considers conflicts within the campaign to defend Sacco and Vanzetti, chronicles the history of the Communist Party’s International Labor Defense, and explores the Black Panther Party’s defense of George Jackson. As Hill explains, labor defense activists first drew on populist logic, opposing the masses to the state in their campaigns, while anti-lynching activists went in the opposite direction, castigating “the mob” and appealing to the law. Showing that this difference stems from the different positions of whites and Blacks in the American legal system, Hill’s comparison of anti-lynching organizing and radical labor defenses reveals the conflicts and intersections between antiracist struggle and socialism in the United States.

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