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date: 21 September 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter offers a critical survey of extant scholarship on the civil rights movement. It highlights topics, organizations, and specific figures and campaigns that have been extensively studied, while also calling attention to other aspects of, or persons or groups in, the movement that have received much less scholarly attention. The piece ends with an extended section on what the author terms “silences, holes, and biases” in the literature on this most important of American social movements. More specifically the author calls for a temporal and geographic broadening of research on the African American freedom struggle, more attention to black activism within a host of institutions (e.g. schools, workplaces, cultural institutions), and increased research on the dynamics of white resistance to collective political action by African Americans.

Keywords: civil rights, black power, American politics, social movements, political sociology

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