Fire this Time: The Watts Uprising and the 1960s

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University of Virginia Press, 1995 - Political Science - 443 pages
In August 1965 the predominantly black neighborhood of Watts in Los Angeles erupted in flames and violence following an incident of police brutality. This is the first comprehensive treatment of that uprising. Property losses reached hundreds of millions of dollars and the official death toll was thirty-four, but the political results were even more profound. The civil rights movement was placed on the defensive as the image of meek and angelic protestors in the South was replaced by the image of "rioting" blacks in the West. A "white backlash" ensued that led directly to Ronald Reagan's election as governor of California in 1966.
In Fire This Time Horne delineates the central roles played by Ronald Reagan, Tom Bradley, Martin Luther King, Jr., Edmund G. Brown, and organizations such as the NAACP, Black Panthers, Nation of Islam, and gangs. He documents the role of the Cold War in the dismantling of legalized segregation, and he looks at the impact of race, region, class, gender, and age on postwar Los Angeles. All this he considers in light of world developments, particularly in Vietnam, the Soviet Union, China, and Africa.
 

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Contents

Toward Understanding
23
Rising Up
45
Death in the Afternoon Evening and Morning
64
FireGuns
79
The Hearing Children of Deaf Parents
98
Black Scare
119
Iron Fist
134
The Old Leadership
171
A Class Divided by Race
247
Right Left and Center
263
Local and Beyond
279
Business
307
Representing Rebellion
322
After the Fire
339
The 1990s
355
Notes
367

The New Leadership
185
The State and Civil Society
213
A Note on Sources
422
Copyright

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About the author (1995)

Gerald Horne, presently a Fulbright Scholar in the Department of History of the University of Zimbabwe, teaches at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His previous books include Black Liberation/Red Scare: Ben Davis and the Communist Party; Race for the Planet: The U.S. and the New World Order; and Black and Red: W.E.B. DuBois and the Afro-American Response to the Cold War, 1944-1963.

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