Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in Alabama’s Black Belt (Google eBook)

Front Cover
NYU Press, Jul 1, 2009 - Political Science - 372 pages
1 Review

Winner of the 2010 Clinton Jackson Coley Award for the best book on local history from the Alabama Historical Association

Early in 1966, African Americans in rural Lowndes County, Alabama, aided by activists from the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), established an all-black, independent political party called the Lowndes County Freedom Organization (LCFO). The group, whose ballot symbol was a snarling black panther, was formed in part to protest the barriers to black enfranchisement that had for decades kept every single African American of voting age off the county’s registration books. Even after the passage of the Voting Rights Act, most African Americans in this overwhelmingly black county remained too scared even to try to register. Their fear stemmed from the county’s long, bloody history of whites retaliating against blacks who strove to exert the freedom granted to them after the Civil War.

Amid this environment of intimidation and disempowerment, African Americans in Lowndes County viewed the LCFO as the best vehicle for concrete change. Their radical experiment in democratic politics inspired black people throughout the country, from SNCC organizer Stokely Carmichael who used the Lowndes County program as the blueprint for Black Power, to California-based activists Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton, who adopted the LCFO panther as the namesake for their new, grassroots organization: the Black Panther Party for Self Defense. This party and its adopted symbol went on to become the national organization of black militancy in the 1960s and 1970s, yet long-obscured is the crucial role that Lowndes County“historically a bastion of white supremacy”played in spurring black activists nationwide to fight for civil and human rights in new and more radical ways.

Drawing on an impressive array of sources ranging from government documents to personal interviews with Lowndes County residents and SNCC activists, Hasan Kwame Jeffries tells, for the first time, the remarkable full story of the Lowndes County freedom struggle and its contribution to the larger civil rights movement. Bridging the gaping hole in the literature between civil rights organizing and Black Power politics, Bloody Lowndes offers a new paradigm for understanding the civil rights movement.

  

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Introduction
1
The Pursuit of Freedom Rights before the Civil Rights Era
7
The Making of a Grassroots Social Movement
39
School Desegregation White Resistance and the African American Response
81
The Federal Government and the Fight for Freedom Rights
117
The Birth of the Original Black Panther Party and the Development of Freedom Politics
143
Black Power and the Election of 1966
179
Black Politics in the PostCivil Rights Era
207
That Black Dirt Gets in Your Soul The Fight for Freedom Rights in the Days Ahead
247
Notes
253
Bibliography
303
Index
317
About the Author
348
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2009)

Hasan Kwame Jeffries is Associate Professor of History at The Ohio State University, where he holds a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity.

Bibliographic information