Tuesday, July 01, 2014

When Civil-Rights Unity Fractured - NYTimes.com

When Civil-Rights Unity Fractured - NYTimes.com: FIFTY years ago this month, more than a thousand predominantly young, predominantly white volunteers arrived in Mississippi to help local blacks register to vote. “Freedom Summer” is remembered as both a high point of interracial democratic activism and a low point in racial violence, most notably in the brutal murder of three civil rights workers, two of whom were white.

Yet Freedom Summer was also a historical hinge point — a pivotal moment that helped fracture the civil rights movement’s tenuous unity and spur black political radicalism. In many ways the divisions that manifested themselves in 1964 are still with us today, and any attempt to build new interracial coalitions will have to first wrestle with their legacy.