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MSc International Relations of the Americas
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AMERG033: African Americans and the Struggle for Civil Rights

Term 2 (Spring Term)

Course tutor: Prof Iwan Morgan

Outline

This course examines the African American freedom struggle to achieve civil rights in the twentieth century South. It examines the strategies used by black groups from the 1930s through the 1960s and beyond, the development of grass roots black activism in the 1950s and 1960s, and the role of federal institutions in promoting civil rights against the states' rights position of the segregationist South.

In addition to explaining the importance of elite groups, like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Peoples, and charismatic leaders like Martin Luther King, the course examines the role of direct action protest by black sharecroppers, students, and women in toppling the Jim Crow System.  It also considers why the civil rights movement was more successful in promoting the political and legal equality  of African Americans than was the case with regard to their economic equality.