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From Civil Rights to Human Rights

From Civil Rights to Human Rights - 06 edition

From Civil Rights to Human Rights - 06 edition

ISBN13: 9780812239690

ISBN10: 0812239695

From Civil Rights to Human Rights by Thomas Jackson - ISBN 9780812239690
Cover type: Hardback
Edition: 06
Copyright: 2006
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Published:
International: No
From Civil Rights to Human Rights by Thomas Jackson - ISBN 9780812239690

ISBN13: 9780812239690

ISBN10: 0812239695

Cover type: Hardback
Edition: 06
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Summary

Martin Luther King's civil rights leadership is widely celebrated as an American exemplar of idealism in practice. But King's nonviolent challenge to racial and economic inequality had deeper roots and more radical implications than is commonly appreciated, Thomas F. Jackson argues in this searching reinterpretation of King's thought and action. Between the 1940s and 1960s, King's activism grew out of and fed back into the black freedom movement and the democratic left. His egalitarian dreams can still illuminate our own unresolved dilemmas of race and poverty. Jackson analyzes the origins and implications of King's lifelong interlocking commitments to economic justice, racial equality, and international peace. While he is often characterized as liberal and reformist prior to 1964, he actually drew upon complex traditions of religiously inspired democratic socialism, left-New Deal liberalism, Gandhian egalitarian philosophy, and pacifist internationalism. In the 1950s and early 1960s, the lessons of the black freedom movement itself directed King's priorities toward economic and political empowerment for black people and poor people. Jackson's analysis of King's later activism reveals the same dedication to these principles of justice, equality, and peace. When neither the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts nor Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty offered solutions to persistent inequality, King insisted that the federal government guarantee jobs and income and facilitate local empowerment. King came to see the 1960s ghetto uprisings as revolts against unemployment, powerlessness, and institutionalized racism, especially in urban police departments. To realize domestic and global economic justice, he insisted, the U.S. must transform itself from an imperial power into a beacon of multiracial democracy. Finally, King tried to mobilize poor Americans across racial and ethnic lines, in a desperate attempt to reverse the national cycle of violence and racial polarization. King synthesized tenets of democratic socialism, nonviolence, Black Power, and integration, presenting a vital and radical challenge to 1960s liberal and conservative politics. Based on extensive research in published sources and unpublished manuscript collections, From Civil Rights to Human Rights positions King within the ideological debates and political struggles of the momentous times in which he lived.