Skip to main content

The Culture War in the Civil Rights Movement

Street, J. (2008) The Culture War in the Civil Rights Movement. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, 272 pp. ISBN 978-0-8130-3196-5. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:7374)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided.
Official URL:


"In The Culture War in the Civil Rights Movement, Joe Street offers a lively, well-informed, and perceptive analysis of the links between the postwar African American freedom struggle and various forms of black cultural expression and organizing. Examining the fields of music, literature, theatre, and the visual arts, Street adds a compelling and authoritative new voice to those who have long argued that culture represents one of the most important fronts on which the battle for black rights and racial justice has been waged."--Brian Ward, University of Manchester

"Eloquently reaffirms the notion that an informed understanding of Black America's multifaceted culture is foundational to fathoming the complexities of the black freedom movement."--William L. Van Deburg, University of Wisconsin, Madison

From Aretha Franklin and James Baldwin to Dick Gregory and Martin Luther King, the civil rights movement deliberately used music, art, theater, and literature as political weapons to broaden the struggle and legitimize its appeal.

Joe Street places these cultural forms at the center of the civil rights struggle, arguing that the time has come to recognize the extent to which African American history and culture were vital elements of the movement, calculated to broaden the movement's appeal within the larger black community. He places considerable emphasis on Amiri Baraka's interpretation of the importance of music and art to the development of black nationalist thought in the 1960s, especially as expressed in his jazz criticism and plays.

Drawing upon a wide variety of sources, from the Free Southern Theater to freedom songs, from the Cuban radio broadcasts of Robert F. Williams to the art of the Black Panther Party, Street encourages us to consider the breadth of forces brought to bear as weapons in the struggle for civil rights. Doing so also allows us to reconsider the roots of Black Power, recognizing that it emerged both from within and as a critique of the southern integrationist movement.

Joe Street is a lecturer in modern American history at the University of Kent, Canterbury.

Item Type: Book
Subjects: F History United States, Canada, Latin America
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
E History America > E151 United States (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: Joe Street
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2008 14:41 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 09:45 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.