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Title: The fire this time : media, myth, memory and the Black Power movement
Author: MacMichael, Conall
ISNI:       0000 0004 6061 7221
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2016
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The dissertation examines the popular memory of the Black Power movement and demonstrates that contrary to the dominant narrative of the 1960s, Black Power was a broad, heterogeneous phenomenon that appealed to a multi-hued chorus of activists in the African American community. By interrogating media narratives surrounding the commemoration of three crucial Civil Rights events -the Murder of Emmett Till, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and the March on Washington - and through exploring the media reaction to the upsurge of Black Power in the late 1960s, I reveal the narrow fashion in which both movements are portrayed. The overwhelmingly positive narrative surrounding the Civil Rights movement reaffirms the ideal of American exceptionalism, while Black Power, with its implicit and explicit questioning of this ideal, is rejected and characterized as the preserve of rage and violence. This monochromatic narrative has served to silence the activists that approached and wielded Black Power in a variety of different ways. Lawyers, pastors, activists, athletes, and entertainers all found aspects of Black Power that they believed could be used to exert a positive influence in their community or that they could apply to their personal lives. To paraphrase E.P. Thompson, this dissertation gives voice to those activists whose works have been brushed aside in favour of a simplistic narrative that blurs our understanding of the post-war Black Freedom Struggle.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available