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A New Frontier? JFK, Civil Rights and Mass Protest

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Part of the Studies in Contemporary History book series (SCH)


Despite the sit-ins and boycotts of the late 1950s which sought to capitalise on the success of the Montgomery boycott it was not at all clear as the new decade began whether the Arican American community would still be singing ‘We Shall Overcome’ at the end of the decade. Martin Luther King had moved with his family to Atlanta where he had the advantages and many disadvantages of being close to his strong-willed father. As he started a new career in the unofficial capital of Dixie, southern Democrats were pleased that a young senator whom they had promoted for the vice presidency in 1956 was preparing his assault on the executive office. Although King met with John Fitzgerald Kennedy on 23 June 1960 privately he was not impressed with the young senator from Massachusetts. The black preacher was convinced that the senator’s voting on the 1957 Civil Rights Act was decided by his desire to win southern support for his presidential campaign rather than any set of principles.

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© 1997 William T. Martin Riches

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Riches, W.T.M. (1997). A New Frontier? JFK, Civil Rights and Mass Protest. In: The Civil Rights Movement. Studies in Contemporary History. Palgrave, London.

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  • Publisher Name: Palgrave, London

  • Print ISBN: 978-0-333-61100-5

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-349-25880-2

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