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The Deacons for Defense : armed resistance and the civil rights movement /
Lance Hill.
imprint
Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, c2004.
description
x, 363 p.
ISBN
0807828475 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, c2004.
isbn
0807828475 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
5142615
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
Hill offers the first detailed history of the Deacons for Defense and Justice, a black self-defense organization particularly influential in Louisiana and Mississippi from 1964 to 1967. Frustrated with the policy of nonviolence espoused by Martin Luther King Jr., the Deacons sought a new form of armed resistance to constant threats of violence from whites.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2004-12-01:
According to Hill (Tulane Univ.), a common understanding of the Civil Rights Movement is that its goals were reached through the efforts of middle-class leaders who followed Dr. Martin Luther King's teaching that nonviolent passive resistance would wear down the segregationist opposition to equal rights. That belief resulted from the leaders' fear that the thought of armed violence perpetrated by African Americans would eliminate support for the movement from liberals in the northern states, and thus hinder their efforts. Hill traces the history of a different school of thought within the movement. The Deacons for Defense, first organized in the rural north Louisiana town of Jonesboro in 1964, adopted the practice of armed self-defense in the face of well-organized attacks by members of the Ku Klux Klan and other segregationist organizations. The idea found some acceptance within the movement, because eventually, the Deacons' membership included several hundred men in 21 chapters scattered across the South. This is an important book that illuminates a significant segment of the civil rights struggle that has been overlooked for too long. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All academic collections. J. P. Sanson Louisiana State University at Alexandria
Reviews
Review Quotes
"An engaging writer, Hill has written a graceful book that fills an important gap in civil rights scholarship." Florida Historical Quarterly
"An engrossing, well-written study." _ Journal of American Studies
"An engrossing, well-written study." -- Journal of American Studies
"An engrossing, well-written study." --Journal of American Studies
"Hill has written a masterful account of a vital, understudied organization. This will undoubtedly be "the" book on the Deacons for a long time." "The Journal of Southern History"
"Hill has written a masterful account of a vital, understudied organization. This will undoubtedly be the book on the Deacons for a long time." The Journal of Southern History
"Hill's ground-breaking, historical narrative adds not only to Southern historiography, but to that of the United States as well." "Louisiana History"
"Hill's ground-breaking, historical narrative adds not only to Southern historiography, but to that of the United States as well." Louisiana History
"This is a significant book." "The North Carolina Historical Review"
"This is a significant book." The North Carolina Historical Review
"This well-argued revisionist text should spur useful debate and encourage others to recast traditional civil rights-era narratives." The Journal of American History
This item was reviewed in:
Chicago Tribune, June 2004
Choice, December 2004
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
'The Deacons for Defense and Justice' were formed in 1964 in Louisiana to protect African Americans from vigilante & police harrassment. Lance Hill uncovers a neglected side of the civil rights movement - one led from among the working class & which stood apart from the nonviolence strategy of the mainstream.
Long Description
In 1964 a small group of African American men in Jonesboro, Louisiana, defied the nonviolence policy of the mainstream civil rights movement and formed an armed self-defense organization--the Deacons for Defense and Justice--to protect movement workers from vigilante and police violence. With their largest and most famous chapter at the center of a bloody campaign in the Ku Klux Klan stronghold of Bogalusa, Louisiana, the Deacons became a popular symbol of the growing frustration with Martin Luther King Jr.'s nonviolent strategy and a rallying point for a militant working-class movement in the South.Lance Hill offers the first detailed history of the Deacons for Defense and Justice, who grew to several hundred members and twenty-one chapters in the Deep South and led some of the most successful local campaigns in the civil rights movement. In his analysis of this important yet long-overlooked organization, Hill challenges what he calls "the myth of nonviolence"--the idea that a united civil rights movement achieved its goals through nonviolent direct action led by middle-class and religious leaders. In contrast, Hill constructs a compelling historical narrative of a working-class armed self-defense movement that defied the entrenched nonviolent leadership and played a crucial role in compelling the federal government to neutralize the Klan and uphold civil rights and liberties.
Main Description
The author offers the first detailed history of the Deacons for Defense and Justice, which grew to several hundred members and 21 chapters in the Deep South and led some of the most successful local campaigns in the civil rights movement.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments
Introductionp. 1
Beginningsp. 10
The deacons are bornp. 30
In the New York Timesp. 52
Not Selmap. 63
On to Bogalusap. 78
The Bogalusa chapterp. 96
The spring campaignp. 108
With a single bulletp. 129
Victoryp. 150
Expanding in the Bayou Statep. 165
Mississippi chaptersp. 184
Heading northp. 216
Black power - last daysp. 234
Conclusion : The myth of nonviolencep. 258
Notesp. 275
Bibliographyp. 335
Indexp. 353
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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