The 20th Century Civil Rights Movement: An Africana Studies Perspective


Edition: 1

Copyright: 2021

Pages: 368


Details: Print Product |

The book covers major aspects of the 20th Century Civil Rights Movement. It is not the standard text on the topic that is usually found because it uses sources directly associated with those whom led and marched on the campaigns. Too often the men and women who knew were an integral part of the civil and human rights struggle are overlooked by those who write on the subject in the Ivory Tower of academia. This book makes a strong effort to reference the voices of those who knew Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on a personal and professional level. The same goes for Minister Malcolm X; who was not part of the mainstream civil rights organizations yet an integral part of the era who cannot be dismissed.

Available in both print and eBook (audio-accessible), The 20th Century Civil Rights Movement: An Africana Studies Perspective:

  • is an important book for our times covering the history of the Civil Rights Movement that leads to the present times.
  • is written in an engaging and accessible style this book will be perfect for college students and the general reader.
  • is written by an author with almost thirty years' teaching experience in higher education and has addressed student questions concerning the Civil Rights Movement he's received over the decades.
  • is based on engagement with sources and writers who experienced working and interacting with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and other key actors in the Civil Rights Movement era.

Topics covered: the historical context of the African American experience; catalysts for the movement; the emergence of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr; from the sit-ins to Freedom Riders and Freedom Summer; Minister Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam; white liberals and problematic gradualism; Black Power and the Black Panther Party era; Black women and their contributions to the freedom struggle; the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; and the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement in relation to the present. This book is written for undergraduates and the general reader in order to give an account of those who struggled so that future generations could be free of racialized discrimination. They may not have succeeded entirely in their quest for cultural, social, economic and political justice, but there is no doubt that whatever freedoms enjoyed today are of a consequence to those that gave their lives to the greatest struggle of the 20th Century for freedom from oppression.


Chapter One Historical Context

Chapter Two Catalysts for the Movement

Chapter Three Emergence and Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Chapter Four Free-to-Feed, Freedom Riders, and Freedom Summer

Chapter Five Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam

Chapter Six White Liberals and the Problem of Gradualism

Chapter Seven Black Nationalism and The Black Power Era

Chapter Eight African American Women Leaders

Chapter Nine Reflections on the Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Chapter Ten Legacy

About the Author
Selected Annotated Bibliography


Mark Christian, PhD. is a tenured and full Professor in the Department of Africana Studies at the City University of New York. Educated in the United Kingdom and the United States, he was a board member of the National Council for Black Studies (2006-2008). He received his BA (Honors) in Sociology & American Studies from Liverpool Hope University, UK, his MA in Africana/Black Studies from The Ohio State University, and his PhD in Sociology from The University of Sheffield, UK. Dr. Christian is a senior Fulbright scholar recipient, and a former research fellow at the University of London's Commonwealth Institute.  Dr. Christian is the author of Multiracial Identity: An International Perspective (Palgrave, 2000) and editor of Black Identity in the 20th Century: Expressions of the US and UK African Diaspora (Hansib, 2002), and Integrated but Unequal: Black Faculty in Predominately White Space (Africa World Press, 2012).  He has also been the guest editor of three special issue journals (2006, 2008, and 2010). He has been the book review editor for the Journal of African American Studies (2007-2014). He has a forthcoming biography on Booker T. Washington. 

Christian (CUNY) provides a general textbook history, critique, and postmortem of the US Civil Rights Movement (1950s–early 1970s). Viewing the long struggle for human and civil rights against white opposition as central to the African American experience, he finds that WW II set the stage for the movement’s emergence with Brown v. Board of Education (1954) and the non-violent direct action campaigns of the Montgomery bus boycott (1955–56), the Little Rock school desegregation effort (1957), sit-ins (1960), Freedom Riders (1961), the March on Washington (1963), Freedom Summer (1964), and the Selma to Montgomery March (1965). By 1965, after facing constant violent resistance, Malcolm X had emerged as a key leader, and Black power, identity, and self-defense became the movement’s new focus. Working from an Africana studies perspective, Christian's sources are those closest to the movement who were of African heritage. While other leaders are considered separately, including women, he focuses on the social thought of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X in the context of the racism they faced. He does not develop the social-movement, grassroots aspects of the period. This effective and well-written textbook—both didactic and evocative—has importance for all readers.

Reviewer: J. Borchert, emeritus, Cleveland State University
Recommendation: Recommended
Readership Level: All Readership Levels
Interdisciplinary Subjects: African and African American Studies, Racial Justice
Subject: Social & Behavioral Sciences - History, Geography & Area Studies - North America
Sep 2021 Issue |  Vol. 59 No. 1
Choice Review #: 59-0238

Related ISBN's: 9781524997472, 9781792457272




ISBN 9781524997472

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