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date: 07 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The question of what led to the successes of the civil rights and Black Power movements is critical because it raises the issue of what it might take to reinvigorate the movement in the circumstances of today. Before turning more directly to an answer, however, it is necessary to survey aspects of the history itself, including instances of judicial and legislative action taken at a seemingly elite level and local organizing and grassroots activism, as well as the interaction of the two. For just as the claim here is that progress is scant when activists are quiet, so it is also clear from the history of the civil rights movement, from Reconstruction to the present day, that significant, lasting action must also find institutionalization on a national scale. This requires that interests also be effectively represented on a national rather than a more strictly local level.

Keywords: civil rights movement, Black Power movements, legislative action, Reconstruction, institutionalization, grassroots activism

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