Civil Rights in New York CityFrom World War II to the Giuliani Era

Civil Rights in New York CityFrom World War II to the Giuliani Era

Clarence Taylor

Print publication date: 2011

ISBN: 9780823232895

Publisher: Fordham University Press

Abstract

Since the 1960s, most U.S. history has been written as if the civil rights movement were primarily or entirely a Southern history. This book joins a growing body of scholarship that demonstrates the importance of the Northern history of the movement. The contributors make clear that civil rights in New York City were contested in many ways, beginning long before the 1960s, and across many groups with a surprisingly wide range of political perspectives. This book provides a sample of the rich historical record of the fight for racial justice in the city that was home to the nation's largest population of African Americans in mid-twentieth century America. The ten contributions brought together here address varying aspects of New York's civil rights struggle, including the role of labor, community organizing campaigns, the pivotal actions of prominent national leaders, the movement for integrated housing, the fight for racial equality in public higher education, and the part played by a revolutionary group that challenged structural, societal inequality. The author examines the Harlem Bus Boycott of 1941, the New York City's Teachers' Union fight for racial equality, Ella Baker's work with the NAACP, and a direct action campaign by Brooklyn CORE. Integrating Rochdale Village in South Jamaica, the largest middle-class housing cooperative in New York, brought together an unusual coalition of leftists, liberal Democrats, moderate Republicans, pragmatic government officials, and business executives.