In Struggle: SNCC and the Black Awakening of the 1960s

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Harvard University Press, 1981 - History - 359 pages
6 Reviews

With its radical ideology and effective tactics, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was the cutting edge of the civil rights movement during the 1960s. This sympathetic yet even-handed book records for the first time the complete story of SNCC's evolution, of its successes and its difficulties in the ongoing struggle to end white repression.

At its birth, SNCC was composed of black college students who shared an ideology of moral radicalism. This ideology, with its emphasis on nonviolence, challenged Southern segregation. SNCC students were the earliest civil rights fighters of the Second Reconstruction. They conducted sit-ins at lunch counters, spearheaded the freedom rides, and organized voter registration, which shook white complacency and awakened black political consciousness. In the process, Carson shows, SNCC changed from a group that endorsed white middle-class values to one that questioned the basic assumptions of liberal ideology and raised the fist for black power. Indeed, SNCC's radical and penetrating analysis of the American power structure reached beyond the black community to help spark wider social protests of the 1960s, such as the anti-Vietnam War movement.

Carson's history of SNCC goes behind the scene to determine why the group's ideological evolution was accompanied by bitter power struggles within the organization. Using interviews, transcripts of meetings, unpublished position papers, and recently released FBI documents, he reveals how a radical group is subject to enormous, often divisive pressures as it fights the difficult battle for social change.

  

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Review: In Struggle: SNCC and the Black Awakening of the 1960s

User Review  - Drick - Goodreads

This book is a history of the Student Nonviolence Coordinating Committee (SNCC) a student run Civil Rights activist group which emerged during the lunch counter sit-ins of the 1960's. SNCC was also a ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ScoutJ - LibraryThing

OK, not a gripping read, but infinitely fascinating nonetheless. Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
Part One ComingTogether
7
Sitins
9
Getting Organized
19
Freedom Rides
31
Radical Cadre in McComb
45
The Albany Movement
56
Sustaining the Struggle
66
Breaking New Ground
153
The New Left
175
Racial Separatism
191
Part Three Falling Apart
214
Black Power
215
Internal Conflicts
229
White Repression
244
Seeking New Allies
265

March on Washington
83
Planning for Confrontation
96
Mississippi Challenge
111
Part Two Looking Inward
131
Waveland Retreat
133
Decline of Black Radicalism
287
Epilogue
305
Notes
307
Index
347
Copyright

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About the author (1981)

Clayborne Carson lives in Palo Alto, California.

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