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Reframing 1968American Politics, Protest and Identity$
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Martin Halliwell and Nick Witham

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780748698936

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748698936.001.0001

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1968: End of The Civil Rights Movement?

1968: End of The Civil Rights Movement?

(p.205) Nine 1968: End of The Civil Rights Movement?
Reframing 1968

Stephen Tuck

Edinburgh University Press

1968 is commonly seen as the end of the classic era of modern civil rights protest: a year when Martin Luther King Jr. was killed, when violence seemed endemic in urban black communities, when Black Power groups fractured and when candidates opposed to further civil rights legislation made giant strides at the ballot box. 1968 seemed to usher in a decade bereft of major civil rights activity, ahead of a resurgence of conservative politics. And yet a look behind the headlines tells a different story in the post-1968 years at the local level: of increasing civil rights protest, of major gains in the courts and politics and the workplace, of substantial victories by Black Power activists, and calls for new rights by African American groups hitherto unrecognised by civil rights leaders. This chapter argues that in many ways 1968 marked the beginning of a vibrant new phase of race-centred activism, rather than the end, of the modern civil rights movement.

Keywords:   1968, Protest, Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King Jr, Conservative Backlash, Black Power

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