The Resource A more beautiful and terrible history : the uses and misuses of civil rights history
- A more beautiful and terrible history : the uses and misuses of civil rights history
- Statement of responsibility
- Jeanne Theoharis
- United States -- Race relations | Historiography.
- Civil rights movements -- United States -- Historiography.
- United States -- Race relations | History -- 20th century.
- African Americans -- Civil rights | History -- 20th century.
- African Americans -- Civil rights | Historiography.
- Civil rights movements -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
- The civil rights movement has become national legend, lauded by presidents from Reagan to Obama to Trump, as proof of the power of American democracy. This fable, featuring dreamy heroes and accidental heroines, has shuttered the movement firmly in the past, whitewashed the forces that stood in its way, and diminished its scope. And it is used perniciously in our own times to chastise present-day movements and obscure contemporary injustice. In A More Beautiful and Terrible History, award-winning historian Jeanne Theoharis dissects this national myth-making, teasing apart the accepted stories to show them in a strikingly different light. We see Rosa Parks not simply as a bus lady but a lifelong criminal justice activist and radical; Martin Luther King, Jr. as not only challenging Southern sheriffs but Northern liberals, too; and Coretta Scott King not only as a "helpmate" but a lifelong economic justice and peace activist who pushed her husband's activism in these directions. Moving from "the histories we get" to "the histories we need," Theoharis challenges nine key aspects of the fable to reveal the diversity of people, especially women and young people, who led the movement; the work and disruption it took; the role of the media and "polite racism" in maintaining injustice; and the immense barriers and repression activists faced. Theoharis makes us reckon with the fact that far from being acceptable, passive or unified, the civil rights movement was unpopular, disruptive, and courageously persevering. Activists embraced an expansive vision of justice -- which a majority of Americans opposed and which the federal government feared. By showing us the complex reality of the movement, the power of its organizing, and the beauty and scope of the vision, Theoharis proves that there was nothing natural or inevitable about the progress that occurred
- Social conflict
- Society and culture -- Race
- Social movements
- History writing -- United States -- African American | Civil rights
- Civil Rights Movement
- Society and culture -- Social activism and philanthropy
- United States -- Race relations | History -- 20th century
- Historical revisionism
- African Americans -- Civil rights | History -- 20th century
- Cataloging source
- Dewey number
- index present
- LC call number
- LC item number
- .T44 2018
- Literary form
- non fiction
- Nature of contents
- Target audience
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