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"That Memorable Morning . . . Set in Motion': Black Leadership and the Southern Regional Council in the Postwar New South"

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Abstract:

The history of the Southern Regional Council (SRC) has received significant attention in discussions about white liberalism in the postwar New South. Yet the organization's establishment in 1944, as a spin-off from the earlier Commission on Interracial Cooperation (CIC), rested on a gathering of southern black leaders at the "Durham Conference" in October 1942. The "Durham Manifesto," which they produced, asserted, "many things have been spoken for him and against him; but the southern Negro is today speaking for himself.” Led by the black sociologist Gordon Blaine Hancock, they put forth their plan of action to deal with American inequality in the wake of postwar prosperity. They wanted “a New Charter of Race Relations in the South” because “the old charter is paternalistic and traditional.” This paper examines the organization's transition to progressive politics in the 1950s and 1960s, which helped usher in a new age of black political leadership by the 1970s. It argues that the SRC's black board members, staff, and general leadership ensured the organization's more expansive role in the field of civil rights than previously understood. The organization became heavily engaged in school desegregation developments across the South in the aftermath of Brown v. Board of Education and it used black consultants to help quell the crisis. Moreover, direct action in the mid-to-late 1950s compelled the organization to take on a larger role. In effect, it became more oriented toward activism than it had ever been. The SRC took on equal employment and voting rights for black Americans in response to the fledgling student movement. A hallmark of the SRC's involvement in voting rights became the Voter Education Project (VEP), which helped pave the way for increased black voter registration in the South before and after the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
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Association:
Name: 102nd Annual Meeting and Conference of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History
URL:
http://www.asalh.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1283709_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Winford, Brandon. ""That Memorable Morning . . . Set in Motion': Black Leadership and the Southern Regional Council in the Postwar New South"" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 102nd Annual Meeting and Conference of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza Hotel, Cincinnati, OH, <Not Available>. 2018-06-18 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1283709_index.html>

APA Citation:

Winford, B. K. ""That Memorable Morning . . . Set in Motion': Black Leadership and the Southern Regional Council in the Postwar New South"" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 102nd Annual Meeting and Conference of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza Hotel, Cincinnati, OH <Not Available>. 2018-06-18 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1283709_index.html

Publication Type: Abstract
Abstract: The history of the Southern Regional Council (SRC) has received significant attention in discussions about white liberalism in the postwar New South. Yet the organization's establishment in 1944, as a spin-off from the earlier Commission on Interracial Cooperation (CIC), rested on a gathering of southern black leaders at the "Durham Conference" in October 1942. The "Durham Manifesto," which they produced, asserted, "many things have been spoken for him and against him; but the southern Negro is today speaking for himself.” Led by the black sociologist Gordon Blaine Hancock, they put forth their plan of action to deal with American inequality in the wake of postwar prosperity. They wanted “a New Charter of Race Relations in the South” because “the old charter is paternalistic and traditional.” This paper examines the organization's transition to progressive politics in the 1950s and 1960s, which helped usher in a new age of black political leadership by the 1970s. It argues that the SRC's black board members, staff, and general leadership ensured the organization's more expansive role in the field of civil rights than previously understood. The organization became heavily engaged in school desegregation developments across the South in the aftermath of Brown v. Board of Education and it used black consultants to help quell the crisis. Moreover, direct action in the mid-to-late 1950s compelled the organization to take on a larger role. In effect, it became more oriented toward activism than it had ever been. The SRC took on equal employment and voting rights for black Americans in response to the fledgling student movement. A hallmark of the SRC's involvement in voting rights became the Voter Education Project (VEP), which helped pave the way for increased black voter registration in the South before and after the Voting Rights Act of 1965.


 
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