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E-Seminars: E-Seminar Detail

E-Seminars in This Series

E-Seminar 1
The Post-New Deal Order

E-Seminar 2
The Politics of Anticommunism

E-Seminar 3
The Stable Fifties

E-Seminar 4
The Subversive Fifties

E-Seminar 5
Kennedy, Johnson, and the Great Society

E-Seminar 7
The Vietnam War

E-Seminar 8
Cultural Revolutions

E-Seminar 9
The Age of Limits

E-Seminar 10
The Rise of the Right

America Since 1945
A Series of Ten E-Seminars

America Since 1945
E-Seminar 6, The Civil-Rights Movement

Taught by: Alan Brinkley

E-Seminar Description
In The Civil-Rights Movement, the sixth of ten e-seminars in the series America Since 1945, historian Alan Brinkley discusses one of the most important social movements in twentieth-century American history. He analyzes the events that propelled and shaped the civil-rights movement, the growing national awareness of racial inequalities in America, and the social policies that were created in response to those inequalities. In the latter part of the e-seminar, Professor Brinkley discusses the state of racial relations in the mid-1960s, some of the demands that were made by African Americans, and the divisions that emerged among African Americans.

Throughout the series Professor Brinkley examines the nationalistic vision of America that emerged in the postwar years. It influenced the nation's politics, intellectual life, and popular culture for two decades and spawned an image of America—often associated with the term consensus or the idea of "the American century"—that was white, middle class, and usually male. While it did not reflect the experience of many, perhaps most, Americans, it was persuasive because it was promoted by an elite with whom most Americans wanted to identify. In the 1960s, various social movements gained momentum and many Americans rose up to challenge the elites who had dominated the nation. Social conflict erupted, resulting in fundamental changes to American culture and its norms.

Included in all the e-seminars in this series is a wealth of archival video and photography from the period, as well as a timeline and a section of short biographies of key figures.

E-Seminar Length:3–5 hours
Start Date:Anytime
Columbia Students, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni:FREE

Interested in this
Go to the e-seminar now*.

Note: Columbia students, faculty, staff, and alumni will need to use their University Network ID (UNI) to access e-seminars.

E-Seminar Objectives | Outline | Instructor's Background | Recommended Reading | Technical Requirements

E-Seminar Objectives
•    Provide students with an appreciation for the most important social movement in recent American history.

•    Clarify the chronology and identify the changing tactics of the leaders of the civil-rights movement.

•    Introduce students to media representations from the period.

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1. Introduction
2. Greensboro
3. Southern Whites
4. Drawing National Attention
      Silent No Longer
5. March on Washington
6. Selma
      Malcolm X Appears
7. A National Problem
      Still Unequal
8. Militancy
      Black Power
      The Black Panthers
9. What Happened in White America?

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Instructor's Background
Instructor's Background
Alan Brinkley is the Allan Nevins Professor of History at Columbia University in New York, where he has taught since 1991. He is currently Chair of the Department of History. His published works include Voices of Protest: Huey Long, Father Coughlin, and the Great Depression (Knopf, 1982), which won the 1983 National Book Award; The Unfinished Nation: A Concise History of the American People (Knopf, 1992); The End of Reform: New Deal Liberalism in Recession and War (Knopf, 1995); and Liberalism and Its Discontents (Harvard, 1998). He is presently writing a biography of Henry R. Luce, to be published by Knopf.

His essays, articles, and reviews have appeared in scholarly journals and in such periodicals as the New York Review of Books, the New Yorker, the New York Times Book Review, the New York Times Magazine, the New Republic, the Times Literary Supplement, and the London Review of Books. He has received fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson Center, the National Humanities Center, the Media Studies Center, Russell Sage Foundation, and others; and he was the recipient of the Joseph R. Levenson Memorial Teaching Prize at Harvard. He is chairman of the board of trustees of the Century Foundation (formerly the Twentieth Century Fund), a member of the editorial board of the American Prospect, a member of the board of directors of the New York Council for the Humanities, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1998–99 he was the Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford University.

He received his A.B. from Princeton and his Ph.D. from Harvard.

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Recommended Reading
Branch, Taylor. Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954–63. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1989, c1988.

Branch, Taylor. Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years, 1963–65. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1998.

Chafe, William H. Civilities and Civil Rights: Greensboro, North Carolina, and the Black Struggle for Freedom. New York: Oxford University Press, 1980.

Lemann, Nicholas. The Promised Land: The Great Black Migration and How it Changed America. New York: Vintage Books, 1992.

Lukas, J. Anthony. Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families. New York: Vintage Books, 1986, c1985.

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Technical Requirements
You will need to use a computer with Internet access to complete this course. We recommend the following minimum configurations:

Windows 95, 98, 2000, XP, or NT
64 MB of RAM (128 recommended)
Monitor: 800x600 resolution recommended
Connection: Internet service and 56K modem minimum
Browser: Internet Explorer 4 or above (Internet Explorer 5 strongly recommended) or Netscape 4.7 or above
Sound Card (if you can hear audio you have a sound card)
Plug-ins: RealPlayer 7 or later; Flash Player 5 or later; Acrobat Reader 5 or later
(all plug-ins are free)

MAC OS 8.6 or higher
64 MB of RAM (128 recommended)
Monitor: 800x600 resolution recommended
Connection: Internet service and 56K modem minimum
Browser: Internet Explorer 5 or above or Netscape 4.7 or above
Sound Card (if you can hear audio you have a sound card)
Plug-ins: RealPlayer 7 or later; Flash Player 5 or later; Acrobat Reader 5 or later
(all plug-ins are free)

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