Chapter

Cops, Schools, and Communism: Local Politics and Global Ideologies—New York City in the 1950s

Clarence Taylor

in Civil Rights in New York City

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780823232895
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240876 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823232895.003.0003
Cops, Schools, and Communism: Local Politics and Global Ideologies—New York City in the 1950s

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In 1952, Ella Baker was elected president of the large New York City NAACP branch, becoming its first woman president. During 1952 and 1953, under Ella Baker's leadership, the New York City NAACP branch built coalitions with other groups in the city and carried out aggressive campaigns focused primarily on school reform and desegregation and on police brutality. In the course of these campaigns, Baker employed the whole range of protest tactics she had taught others to utilize: sending public letters of protest, leading noisy street demonstrations, confronting the mayor in front of the news media, and even running for public office after temporarily taking off her NAACP hat. In her efforts at coalition building, Baker tried to avoid the divisive Cold War politics that defined the national scene during the early 1950s and threatened to infect the debates over local issues.

Keywords: Ella Baker; New York City; NAACP; school reform; desegregation; protest; police brutality; demonstrations

Chapter.  8188 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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