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Faith in Black Power: Reflections on Teaching the Civil Rights Movement in My Place

What happens when you rearrange a civil rights movement class to prioritize the North? The long civil rights movement framework, which has greatly influenced my own writing, explodes the traditional southern-focused, 1954-1965, King-based narrative that has been so dominant in the general American psyche and helps students to see that race has not been just a southern problem (although there are things unique to the South), that Dr. King was not the only leader, that women’s activism and questions of gender are important, and that the movement was not just about integration.  The long movement framework, as Jacqueline Dowd Hall conceived it in 2005, does not adequately account for religion, but there are some great books that do explore religion in the classical and long movements (I have used Charles Marsh's God's Long Summer and Patrick Jones's The Selma of the North in my classroom).
Place matters, and I’m becoming more convinced that institutions of higher education - …

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