City Son: Andrew W. Cooper's Impact on Modern-day Brooklyn

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Univ. Press of Mississippi, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 340 pages

In 1966, a year after the Voting Rights Act began liberating millions of southern blacks, New Yorkers challenged a political system that weakened their voting power. Andrew W. Cooper (1927-2002), a beer company employee, sued state officials in a case called Cooper vs. Power. In 1968, the courts agreed that black citizens were denied the right to elect an authentic representative of their community. The 12th Congressional District was redrawn. Shirley Chisholm, a member of Cooper's political club, ran for the new seat and made history as the first black woman elected to Congress.

Cooper became a journalist, a political columnist, then founder of Trans Urban News Service and the City Sun, a feisty Brooklyn-based weekly that published from 1984 to 1996. Whether the stories were about Mayor Koch or Rev. Al Sharpton, Howard Beach or Crown Heights, Tawana Brawley's dubious rape allegations, the Daily News Four trial, or Spike Lee's filmmaking career, Cooper's City Sun commanded attention and moved officials and readers to action.

Cooper's leadership also gave Brooklyn--particularly predominantly black central Brooklyn--an identity. It is no accident that in the twenty-first century the borough crackles with energy. Cooper fought tirelessly for the community's vitality when it was virtually abandoned by the civic and business establishments in the mid-to-late twentieth century. In addition, scores of journalists trained by Cooper are keeping his spirit alive.

 

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Contents

1 Boy to Man
3
2 Jim Crow Brooklyn
18
3 Political Awakening
28
4 Civil Rights Brooklyn Style
38
5 Cooper versus Power
48
6 Schaefer Suds
60
7 One Mans Opinion
71
8 Trans Urban News Service
87
15 Journalist of the Year
158
16 Tawana Brawley
179
17 Mayoral Race
195
18 Dinkinss First Months
208
19 Crown Heights Riot
222
20 The Breakup
240
21 Setting Sun
252
22 Dusk
267

9 TNS Shuts Down
102
10 Rising Sun
111
11 Bright Shining Years
120
12 Nineteen EightySix
131
13 Howard Beach
139
14 Arts Beat
150
Epilogue
275
About the Author
281
Notes
283
Bibliography
321
Index
327
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Wayne Dawkins is associate professor at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. A former newspaper reporter and editor, he is author of Rugged Waters: Black Journalists Swim the Mainstream and Black Journalists: The National Association of Black Journalists Story, as well as a contributor to Black Voices in Commentary: The Trotter Group and My First Year as a Journalist. He is also author of Emanuel Celler: Immigration and Civil Rights Champion, published by University Press of Mississippi.

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