Chapter

Race, Class, and the Civil Rights Movement

Carol A. Horton

in Race and the Making of American Liberalism

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9780195143485
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199850402 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195143485.003.0007
Race, Class, and the Civil Rights Movement

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The early Civil Rights movement radicalized the postwar liberal agenda by infusing it with much more expansive conceptions of both racial equity and social justice. While postwar liberalism remained focused on the problem of Jim Crow segregation in the South, the movement also emphasized problems of racial discrimination and segregation in the rest of the nation. At the same time, it encouraged the development of a new form of racial consciousness, particularly a more positive and empowered sense of black identity. The movement also advocated an essentially social democratic agenda, whose primary goal was to increase social and economic equity among all Americans. By the early 1960s, these commitments had created a pronounced rift between “white liberals”, who favored the more moderate politics of postwar liberalism, and the Negro movement, who supported the new form of social liberalism developed by the Civil Rights movement.

Keywords: Civil Rights movement; racial equity; social justice; Jim Crow segregation; racial discrimination; black identity; white liberals; social liberalism; postwar liberalism; Negro movement

Chapter.  10875 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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