The Church of Civil Rights
Nearly a half-century haspassed since the heyday of the early civil-rights movement, and race relations in America have grown far too complex to be reckoned by its simple compass. But the campaign to undo the system of segregation in the South seems to have lost none of its moral appeal. If my own experience as a teacher is any guide, a sizable percentage of applicants for graduate study in U.S. history are still likely to cite the civil-rights movement of the 1950’s and 1960’s as one of their chief inspirations. A surprising number of them set out with hopes of making the movement itself an object of their research.
About the Author
Wilfred M. McClay, who holds the SunTrust Chair of Excellence in the Humanities at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, contributed “Is Conservatism Finished?” to the January COMMENTARY. His latest book is Figures in the Carpet: Finding the Human Person in the American Past.