Fog of War The Second World War and the Civil Rights Movement

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-02-01
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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This collection is a timely reconsideration of the intersection between two of the dominant events of twentieth-century American history, the upheaval wrought by the Second World War and the social revolution brought about by the African American struggle for equality. Scholars from a wide range of fields explore the impact of war on the longer history of African American protest from many angles: from black veterans to white segregationists, from the rural South to northern cities, from popular culture to federal politics, and from the American confrontations to international connections. It is well known that World War II gave rise to human rights rhetoric, discredited a racist regime abroad, and provided new opportunities for African Americans to fight, work, and demand equality at home. It would be all too easy to assume that the war was a key stepping stone to the modern civil rights movement. But the authors show that in reality the momentum for civil rights was not so clear cut, with activists facing setbacks as well as successes and their opponents finding ways to establish more rigid defenses for segregation. While the war set the scene for a mass movement, it also narrowed some of the options for black activists.

Author Biography

Kevin M. Kruse is Associate Professor of History at Princeton University and the author of White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism. Stephen Tuck is University Lecturer in American History at the University of Oxford and the author of We Ain't What We Ought to Be: The Black Freedom Struggle from Emancipation to Obama.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Contributorsp. ix
Introduction: The Second World War and the Civil Rights Movementp. 3
Freedom to Want: The Federal Government and Politicized Consumption in World War IIp. 15
Confronting the Roadblock: Congress, Civil Rights, and World War IIp. 32
Segregation and the City: White Supremacy in Alabama in the Mid-Twentieth Centuryp. 51
Movement Building during the World War II Era: The NAACP's Legal Insurgency in the Southp. 70
Hillburn, Hattiesburg, and Hitler: Wartime Activists Think Globally and Act Locallyp. 87
"You can sing and punch...but you can't be a soldier or a man": African American Struggles for a New Place in Popular Culturep. 103
"A War for States' Rights": The White Supremacist Vision of Double Victoryp. 126
The Sexual Politics of Race in World War II Americap. 145
Civil Rights and World War II in a Global Frame: Shape-Shifting Racial Formations and the U.S. Encounter with European and Japanese Colonialismp. 171
Race, Rights, and Nongovernmental Organizations at the UN San Francisco Conference: A Contested History of "Human Rights... without Discrimination"p. 188
"Did the Battlefield Kill Jim Crow?": The Cold War Military, Civil Rights, and Black Freedom Strugglesp. 208
Indexp. 231
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