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Carl B Stokes And The Rise Of Black Political Power

Author: Leonard N. Moore
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 9780252071638
Size: 57.65 MB
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As the first elected black mayor of a major U.S. city, Cleveland's Carl B. Stokes embodied the transformation of the civil rights movement from a vehicle of protest to one of black political power. In this wide-ranging political biography, Leonard N. Moore examines the convictions and alliances that brought Stokes to power. Impelled by the problems plaguing Cleveland's ghettos in the decades following World War II, Stokes and other Clevelanders questioned how the sit-ins and marches of the civil rights movement could correct the exclusionary zoning practices, police brutality, substandard housing, and de facto school segregation that African Americans in the country's northern urban centers viewed as evidence of their oppression. As civil unrest in the country's ghettos turned to violence in the 1960s, Cleveland was one of the first cities to heed the call of Malcolm X's infamous The Ballot or the Bullet speech. Understanding the importance of controlling the city's political system, Cleveland's blacks utilized their substantial voting base to put Stokes in office in 1967. Stokes was committed to showing the country that an African American could be an effective political lead

Contemporary Patterns Of Politics Praxis And Culture

Author: Georgia A. Persons
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351526146
Size: 54.10 MB
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The National Political Science Review is the official publication of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists. This new volume, Contemporary Patterns of Politics, Praxis, and Culture reflects major research focuses across religion, race, gender, culture, and of course, politics. Themes that engage a community of scholars also engage them in praxis as individual citizens and practitioners in a democratic society, and collectively as member-participants in a changing culture. Two themes, religion and culture are relatively new areas of intellectual curiosity for political scientists. Articles in this volume extend the beachheads already established by African-American political scientists in studies that guage the significance and influence of religion in both individual and group behavior. They chart religion's inevitable move onto the center stage of U.S. public affairs. The study of culture has essentially languished for almost a generation within political science, especially with regard to the study of American politics and society. During this time the emphasis has also shifted significantly from an almost exclusive focus on civic culture to an expanding focus on the broad expanse of popular culture in the contemporary period. Culture is the crucible within which politics, race, religion, and gender both foment and ferment, and artistic products of the culture are manifestations and mirrors of how we envision and construct a changing reality. Issues of race, religion, gender and culture are all dimensions of individual and group identity. The dynamics of changing individual and group identities change the underlying cultural canvas against which identity is displayed and politics is acted out. The concept of praxis is relatively new to the lexicon of political science. However, engagement in the practice of politics is not a new idea for African-American social scientists. Indeed, particularly for this group, and clearly for many others,

Black Rage In New Orleans

Author: Leonard N. Moore
Publisher: LSU Press
ISBN: 9780807137406
Size: 45.91 MB
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In Black Rage in New Orleans, Leonard N. Moore traces the shocking history of police corruption in the Crescent City from World War II to Hurricane Katrina and the concurrent rise of a large and energized black opposition to it. In New Orleans, crime, drug abuse, and murder were commonplace, and an underpaid, inadequately staffed, and poorly trained police force frequently resorted to brutality against African Americans. Endemic corruption among police officers increased as the city's crime rate soared, generating anger and frustration among New Orleans's black community. Rather than remain passive, African Americans in the city formed antibrutality organizations, staged marches, held sit-ins, waged boycotts, vocalized their concerns at city council meetings, and demanded equitable treatment. Moore explores a staggering array of NOPD abuses -- police homicides, sexual violence against women, racial profiling, and complicity in drug deals, prostitution rings, burglaries, protection schemes, and gun smuggling -- and the increasingly vociferous calls for reform by the city's black community. Documenting the police harassment of civil rights workers in the 1950s and 1960s, Moore then examines the aggressive policing techniques of the 1970s, and the attempts of Ernest "Dutch" Morial -- the first black mayor of New Orleans -- to reform the force in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Even when the department hired more African American officers as part of that reform effort, Moore reveals, the corruption and brutality continued unabated in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Dramatic changes in departmental leadership, together with aid from federal grants, finally helped professionalize the force and achieved long-sought improvements within the New Orleans Police Department. Community policing practices, increased training, better pay, and a raft of other reform measures for a time seemed to signal real change in the department. The book's epilogue, "Policing Katrina," however, looks at how the NOPD's ineffectiveness compromised its ability to handle the greatest natural disaster in American history, suggesting that the fruits of reform may have been more temporary than lasting. The first book-length study of police brutality and African American protest in a major American city, Black Rage in New Orleans will prove essential for anyone interested in race relations in America's urban centers.

Mainstreaming Black Power

Author: Tom Adam Davies
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520965647
Size: 51.96 MB
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Mainstreaming Black Power upends the narrative that the Black Power movement allowed for a catharsis of black rage but achieved little institutional transformation or black uplift. Retelling the story of the 1960s and 1970s across the United States—and focusing on New York, Atlanta, and Los Angeles—this book reveals how the War on Poverty cultivated black self-determination politics and demonstrates that federal, state, and local policies during this period bolstered economic, social, and educational institutions for black control. Mainstreaming Black Power shows more convincingly than ever before that white power structures did engage with Black Power in specific ways that tended ultimately to reinforce rather than challenge existing racial, class, and gender hierarchies. This book emphasizes that Black Power’s reach and legacies can be understood only in the context of an ideologically diverse black community.

Where The River Burned

Author: David Stradling
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801455650
Size: 31.35 MB
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In the 1960s, Cleveland suffered through racial violence, spiking crime rates, and a shrinking tax base, as the city lost jobs and population. Rats infested an expanding and decaying ghetto, Lake Erie appeared to be dying, and dangerous air pollution hung over the city. Such was the urban crisis in the "Mistake on the Lake." When the Cuyahoga River caught fire in the summer of 1969, the city was at its nadir, polluted and impoverished, struggling to set a new course. The burning river became the emblem of all that was wrong with the urban environment in Cleveland and in all of industrial America. Carl Stokes, the first African American mayor of a major U.S. city, had come into office in Cleveland a year earlier with energy and ideas. He surrounded himself with a talented staff, and his administration set new policies to combat pollution, improve housing, provide recreational opportunities, and spark downtown development. In Where the River Burned, David Stradling and Richard Stradling describe Cleveland's nascent transition from polluted industrial city to viable service city during the Stokes administration. The story culminates with the first Earth Day in 1970, when broad citizen engagement marked a new commitment to the creation of a cleaner, more healthful and appealing city. Although concerned primarily with addressing poverty and inequality, Stokes understood that the transition from industrial city to service city required massive investments in the urban landscape. Stokes adopted ecological thinking that emphasized the connectedness of social and environmental problems and the need for regional solutions. He served two terms as mayor, but during his four years in office Cleveland's progress fell well short of his administration’s goals. Although he was acutely aware of the persistent racial and political boundaries that held back his city, Stokes was in many ways ahead of his time in his vision for Cleveland and a more livable urban America.

The Defeat Of Black Power

Author: Leonard N. Moore
Publisher: LSU Press
ISBN: 0807169056
Size: 53.75 MB
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For three days in 1972 in Gary, Indiana, eight thousand American civil rights activists and Black Power leaders gathered at the National Black Political Convention, hoping to end a years-long feud that divided black America into two distinct camps: integrationists and separatists. While some form of this rift existed within black politics long before the 1968 assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., his death—and the power vacuum it created—heightened tensions between the two groups, and convention leaders sought to merge these competing ideologies into a national, unified call to action. What followed, however, effectively crippled the Black Power movement and fundamentally altered the political strategy of civil rights proponents. An intense and revealing history, Leonard N. Moore’s The Defeat of Black Power provides the first in-depth evaluation of this critical moment in American history. During the brief but highly charged meeting in March 1972, attendees confronted central questions surrounding black people’s involvement in the established political system: reject or accept integration and assimilation; determine the importance or futility of working within the broader white system; and assess the perceived benefits of running for public office. These issues illuminated key differences between integrationists and separatists, yet both sides understood the need to mobilize under a unified platform of black self-determination. At the end of the convention, determined to reach a consensus, officials produced “The National Black Political Agenda,” which addressed the black constituency’s priorities. While attendees and delegates agreed with nearly every provision, integrationists maintained their rejection of certain planks, namely the call for a U.S. constitutional convention and separatists’ demands for reparations. As a result, black activists and legislators withdrew their support less than ten weeks after the convention, dashing the promise of the 1972 assembly and undermining the prerogatives of black nationalists. In The Defeat of Black Power, Moore shows how the convention signaled a turning point for the Black Power movement, whose leaders did not hold elective office and were now effectively barred access to the levers of social and political power. Thereafter, their influence within black communities rapidly declined, leaving civil rights activists and elected officials holding the mantle of black political leadership in 1972 and beyond.

The Limits Of Black Power

Author: Leonard Nathaniel Moore
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Abstract: This dissertation examines the growth and development of Cleveland's black community from 1945-1971. Part I, "The Search for Power," is essentially a community study of black Cleveland from 1945-1967, while Part II, "The Limits of Power," looks at the historic mayoral career of Carl B. Stokes, the first black mayor of a major American city. The twenty-six year period after World War II represented a period of increased militancy and political ascension for Cleveland's black poor. With the large influx of southern migrants paralleling the structural changes in Cleveland's economy, the atmosphere greeting those in search of better living and working conditions was anything but the promised land. Upon arrival black southerners found a constrained housing market, large-scale job discrimination, inferior educational policies, and unfair police protection. But the black poor did not sit idly by during this period of increased repression. Inspired to some extent by the southern drive for voting rights and integration, they employed various protest strategies in their quest to enjoy the full measure of their civil and political rights. By staging rallies, conducting sit-ins, picketing, and by holding rent strikes, they brought much needed attention to their socio-economic. Later, when the black poor resorted to violent protest, city officials could no longer ignore their complaints. While many members of the community employed extra-legal protest methods, there was also a strong emphasis placed upon voter registration and participation. Although blacks in Cleveland had long held the right to vote, the small percentage of the population often did not allow them the opportunity to place meaningful pressure on local politicians. But even when blacks gained representation in Cleveland City Council, black councilpersons rarely took a strong civil rights stance. As conditions for the black poor continued to deteriorate in the 1960s they began to strategize at the voting booth, with hopes of placing in office politicians sympathetic to their experience. The chief recipient of this political consciousness was Carl Burton Stokes, a native Clevelander, who was quite familiar with the conditions of the working-poor. Throughout his early political career as a State Representative, Stokes built up quite a reputation as an advocate for the black poor. This signaled to black voters that he did not represent a sell-out risk to the city's political and business establishment. As the first black mayor of a major city, Stokes considered his election a logical extension of the civil rights movement. Upon taking office in 1967 he pledged to use his power to improve the lives of black Clevelanders through scattered-site public housing, a reformed police department, and increased job opportunities, undergirded by the total redevelopment of Cleveland's neglected inner-city. But in carrying out his political agenda Stokes faced considerable opposition. Throughout the course of his two-term four-year tenure Stokes was constantly opposed by a city council which blocked much of his legislative agenda, and an equally defiant police department which effectively resisted many of his reforms. Stokes also received consistent criticism from many members of the black middle-class who successfully contested Stokes' efforts to place public housing in their communities. Moreover, the black middle-class was also steady in its disapproval of Stokes' favorable relationship with local black nationalist figures. With these obstacles in place Stokes was largely unsuccessful in achieving his political goals. He gained firsthand knowledge of the limits of black power.