A Place on the Podium

I think what confused people about the dynamics of social movements in the US was the misperception that the Civil Rights Movement was led and organized by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, NAACP, and other righteous institutions, when in fact the research, education, and organizing was done by SNCC and friends, and the life-risking community action was conducted by the poor, uneducated, heroic black citizens of Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia…

The media spotlight on King and his coterie are largely responsible for this, but a telling moment came when the black establishment betrayed the Mississippi delegation to the 1964 Democratic convention. Another moment was when after the bloodbath in Selma, SCLC’s all-male leaders denied a place on the podium to Rosa Parks.

—Spartacus O’Neal

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~ by Jay Taber on April 17, 2007.

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