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Title: Black power in the American political tradition
Author: Davies, Thomas Adam
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2013
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Shedding new light on the relationship between Black Power and mainstream American politics and society, this thesis explores the ways in which white politicians, institutions, and organizations engaged with, and responded to, African Americans‘ demands for economic and political empowerment during the mid-to-late 1960s through the mid-1970s. At the same time, it considers how these demands themselves reflected urban African American communities‘ own responses to, and engagement with, Black Power ideology. The final and broadest concern of this study is how these two processes – along with the political and economic pressures created by white mainstream resistance to demands for racial and socio-economic change – affected urban African American society and politics during the Black Power era and beyond. This story is traced by exploring the nexus of public policies, black community organizations, white and black elected officials, liberal foundations, and Black Power activists in New York, Atlanta, and Los Angeles during the mid-to-late 1960s through the 1970s. By considering throughout how African American community activists in the three cities fought to capitalize on, and create, new opportunities through public policies, this project details the impact that Black Power had upon existing grassroots community activism, illuminating Black Power‘s development at the local level. Finally, focusing on the evolution and longer term trajectory of public policies intended to negotiate and control the meaning of Black Power, this thesis explains how and why those policies sought to cultivate a mainstream, middle-class interest oriented brand of Black Power politics that aimed to reinforce the nation‘s existing political and social order. Highlighting the relationship between these policies and black middle-class progress of the period, this thesis underscores the enduring capacity of mainstream whites to successfully defend and assert their interests and resist transformative socio-economic and racial change, and ultimately, to dictate the scope and direction of black progress.
Supervisor: Dossett, Kate ; Hall, Simon Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available