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The US Civil Rights Movement, 1945-70

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About this Course

About the Course

In this course, Dr Tom Davies (University of Sussex) focuses on the struggle for civil rights in the United States from the late 1940s to the 1960s. The course begins with an introduction to race relations in the United States, before focusing more closely on the struggle for civil rights from the late 1940s to mid 1950s. In the third module, we turn to the grassroots campaign for civil rights, thinking in particular about the influence of the SNCC, before turning to the role of Martin Luther King and the campaigns in Birmingham and Selma. In the fifth module, we think about the role of Malcolm X, before moving on in the sixth and final module to look at Black Power more generally.

About the Lecturer

Dr Tom Davies is a Lecturer in American History at the University of Sussex.

Tom studied at the University of Leeds as an undergraduate for my BA and MA. He then worked outside of academia for 3 years before returning to Leeds to undertake his doctoral studies under the supervision of Dr. Kate Dossett & Dr. Simon Hall.

Focusing upon the period from the mid-1960s to the late-1970s, his doctoral thesis offered a grass-roots analysis and reassessment of Black Power, alongside a top-down federal and local government perspective, within a national historical narrative of the political culture. Central to his work was an examination of the relationship between the War on Poverty, the African American community groups which engaged in it, and the Black Power movement itself. It then explored the roles these played in the ostensible growth of black political power and political engagement that unfolded during the late-1960s onwards.