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Title: Race, class and citizenship : the civil rights struggle in Mobile, Alabama, 1925-85
Authors: Ahmed, Nahfiza.
Award date: 1999
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: This thesis is an examination of the Civil Rights struggle in the city of Mobile, Alabama between 1925 and 1985. Race, class and citizenship were three important factors which shaped African-American leadership, political goals and protest strategies to overcome the problem of racism during this century. The influence of elites, changing class alignments and differing interpretations of the concept of freedom in democratic society, created an uneven social movement for reform among Mobile's African American citizens. In common with other Southern localities of comparable size, the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People and the political philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr., influenced the struggle for equality in Mobile. World War II and the economic modernisation of the South during the post-war era, helped to bring the city closer to the national mainstream and foster liberal racial attitudes among middle-class, white Mobilians. Yet Mobile had also established itself as a semi-autonomous area with a distinct cultural tradition drawn from the heritage of early European and African settlement along the Gulf Coast. Within this context, the city did not experience a full Civil Rights movement comparable to other urban localities such as Montgomery, Birmingham and Tuskegee during the racially turbulent 1950s and 1960s. The grass-roots revolutionary aspects of the black freedom struggle emerged in Mobile after 1968 coinciding with the death of King. This movement absorbed the political culture of Black Power and the confrontational tactics of the militant wing of the national civil rights coalitions. Despite over a half-century of civil rights protest and accommodation in the 1980s however, it was clear that racism continued to determine the nature and problem of African-American citizenship in one of America's oldest cities.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: PhD
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Theses, School of Historical Studies
Leicester Theses

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