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Civil Rights and the Idea of Freedom - Richard H. King

Civil Rights and the Idea of Freedom

Hardcover

Published: 30th April 1992
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Focusing attention on the political ideas that were influential on as well as those that were central to the civil rights movement, this original study examines not only written texts but also oral history interviews to reveal a rich tradition of personal as well as political freedom that emerged from the movement.
Making extensive use of interviews with movement participants to discover the language of freedom at the grass-roots level, King makes clear that, though liberal notions of freedom involving the absence of restrictions and equal protections were crucial to movement goals, the Exodus vision of collective liberation, group self-transformation, and participatory freedom figured just as prominently as the removal of barriers to social and political equality. King demonstrates how the creation of a sense of self-worth and freedom within the individual participants of the greater civil rights movement helped revitalize and extend African-American political culture. Along the way, notable individuals (such as Martin Luther King and Ella Baker, Stokely Carmichael and James Forman) and political thinkers (such as Hannah Arendt and Frantz Fanon) are discussed and analyzed.
A significant contribution to an understanding of the basic ideas and issues of one of the most transformative movements of our time, Civil Rights and the Idea of Freedom concludes that the civil rights movement helped strengthen the meaning of citizenship and the political importance of self-respect in the contemporary world, with implications reaching far beyond its original setting and time period.

"A well-documented, scholarly analysis of the impact of ideas on activists."--Choice "Stimulating and subtle, the author's arguments are also refreshingly forthright....King's book is a salutary and thought-provoking reminder that the civil rights movement...did extend the boundaries and meanings of freedom in a creative and compelling manner."--Journal of Southern History "A remarkable book....A valuable prologue to the broader intellectual history of [the civil rights] movement."--Southern Historian "King begins with a stimulating analysis of what he calls [repertory of freedom], showing that freedom as a political concept has numerous meanings. This excellent study deals with vital but complex issues in a lucid and accessible manner, King makes very good use of oral History, particularly from Howard University's Civil Rights Documentation Project, and has consulted a massive array of published sources, particularly theoretical analyses of freedom and revolution. His fresh perspective on the civil rights movement deserves to be read by historians and political theorists alike."--American Politics Review "This is a splendidly lucid volume about a vital and oddly neglected topic: The ideas of freedom animating the 1960's civil rights movement and other civil rights and "liberationist" efforts of that era and beyond. Richard H. King is deeply immersed in the history of epoch and, as well, in social and political thought."--The Journal of American History "This book achieves much...King offers some thoughtful observations on the ideas of selected black activists of the 1950's and 1960's. This study is an important critique of conventional liberalism informed by a body of modern African-American political thought that has yet to be comprehended in a single scholarly work."--American Historical Review "This is an interesting and, in places, fascinating book....It genuinely stimulates reflection..."--American Political Science Review "A well-documented, scholarly analysis of the impact of ideas on activists."--Choice "Stimulating and subtle, the author's arguments are also refreshingly forthright....King's book is a salutary and thought-provoking reminder that the civil rights movement...did extend the boundaries and meanings of freedom in a creative and compelling manner."--Journal of Southern History "A remarkable book....A valuable prologue to the broader intellectual history of [the civil rights] movement."--Southern Historian "King begins with a stimulating analysis of what he calls [repertory of freedom], showing that freedom as a political concept has numerous meanings. This excellent study deals with vital but complex issues in a lucid and accessible manner, King makes very good use of oral History, particularly from Howard University's Civil Rights Documentation Project, and has consulted a massive array of published sources, particularly theoretical analyses of freedom and revolution. His fresh perspective on the civil rights movement deserves to be read by historians and political theorists alike."--American Politics Review "This is a splendidly lucid volume about a vital and oddly neglected topic: The ideas of freedom animating the 1960's civil rights movement and other civil rights and "liberationist" efforts of that era and beyond. Richard H. King is deeply immersed in the history of epoch and, as well, in social and political thought."--The Journal of American History "This book achieves much...King offers some thoughtful observations on the ideas of selected black activists of the 1950's and 1960's. This study is an important critique of conventional liberalism informed by a body of modern African-American political thought that has yet to be comprehended in a single scholarly work."--American Historical Review "This is an interesting and, in places, fascinating book....It genuinely stimulates reflection..."--American Political Science Review

Prefacep. vii
Introductionp. 3
The Repertory of Freedomp. 12
The Experience of Politicsp. 39
Self-Interest and Self-Respectp. 62
Martin Luther King and the Meanings of Freedomp. 87
Martin Luther King: Authorship and Ideasp. 108
SNCC, Participatory Politics, and the Peoplep. 138
Violence and Self-Respect: Fanon and Black Radicalismp. 172
Conclusionp. 201
Notesp. 213
Indexp. 255
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195065077
ISBN-10: 0195065077
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 30th April 1992
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.84 x 14.66  x 2.69
Weight (kg): 0.49