Radicalizing the Ebony Tower Black Colleges and the Black Freedom Struggle in Mississippi

ISBN-10: 0807748633

ISBN-13: 9780807748633

Edition: 2008

Authors: Joy Ann Williamson

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This is a profoundly moving story of Black colleges in Mississippi during a watershed moment in their history. It is also the story of young Americans trying to balance their pursuit of higher education with the parallel struggle for civil rights. Radicalizing the Ebony Tower examines colleges against the backdrop of the black freedom struggle of the middle twentieth century, a highly contentious conflict between state agents determined to protect the racial hierarchy and activists equally determined to cripple white supremacy. Activists demanded that colleges play a central role in the Civil Rights Movement (a distinct challenge to the notion of the ivory tower) while state agents demanded that colleges distance themselves from the black freedom struggle and promised to mete out harsh penalties if they did not. Through the words and deeds of actual participants, this path-breaking study documents how activists ultimately transformed non-political institutions into libratory agents.
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Book details

List price: $30.95
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Teachers College Press, Teachers College, Columbia University
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 224
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.924
Language: English

Critique of the Literature
Deep in the Heart of Dixie: The Mississippi Context
Mission of the Book
Organization of the Book
Training the Talented Tenth: A Brief History of Mississippi's Black Colleges
Blacks and Whites, Liberals and Conservatives: Private Black Colleges
Black Constituents, White Control: Public Black Colleges
Similarities and Differences Between the Colleges
From Bourgeois to Activist: Students and the Radicalization of the College Campus
The Mississippi Movement
Democracy by Example: Student Government Associations
Appropriating Off-Campus Organizations for the Campus-Based Movement: The NAACP
The Creation of Radical Campus-Based Organizations
Testing the Boundaries of Acceptable Dissent: Faculty Activism and Academic Freedom
Understanding Faculty Activism
Tougaloo College as an Oasis of Freedom
Battling Reds and Blacks: Academic Freedom in a Southern Context
Institutional Autonomy versus State Security: Academic Freedom at Black and White Private Institutions
White Supremacy as State Policy: The Particular Vulnerabilities of Public Institutions
"Cancer Colleges": The Battle on Private College Campuses
Similarities and Differences Between the Colleges
The Dilemma of Black Philanthropy and Racial Radicalism
Activism versus Academics
Moderating White Supremacy
Moderating Black Radicalism
Foes or Allies: The Battle on Public College Campuses
The Precarious Position of Public Colleges and Their Students
The College Presidents: Powerful but Prone
Differences in Activism Between the Colleges
Repression as Progress
Autocracy versus Democracy
Negotiating the Middle Ground
Making Black Campuses Black: Activism and Response in the Black Power Era
The Rise of Black Power: The Movement Turns a Corner
Black Power Mississippi Style
Synchronized Agitation: Cross-Fertilization Between Movement Centers and Campuses
From the Streets to the Courts: Expanding Student Rights
A Community Divided: What Is a Black College?
Old Wine in New Bottles: The Racist Countermovement During the Black Power Era
Struggle and Success
Lessons Learned from the Black College Experience
List of Interviewees
About the Author
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