This collection is a timely reconsideration of the intersection between two of the dominant events of twentieth-century American history, the upheaval wrought by the Second World War and the social revolution brought about by the African American struggle for equality. Scholars from a wide range of fields explore the impact of war on the longer history of African American protest from many angles: from black veterans to white segregationists, from the rural South to rthern cities, from popular culture to federal politics, and from the American confrontations to international connections. It is well kwn that World War II gave rise to human rights rhetoric, discredited a racist regime abroad, and provided new opportunities for African Americans to fight, work, and demand equality at home. It would be all too easy to assume that the war was a key stepping stone to the modern civil rights movement. But the authors show that in reality the momentum for civil rights was t so clear cut, with activists facing setbacks as well as successes and their opponents finding ways to establish more rigid defenses for segregation. While the war set the scene for a mass movement, it also narrowed some of the options for black activists.
KK: Associate Professor of History, Princeton University. Author of White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism (Princeton UP, 2005) and co-editor of The New Suburban History (University of Chicago Press, 2006). ST: University Lecturer in History, University of Oxford. Author of We Ain''t What We Ought To Be: The Black Freedom Struggle from Emancipation to Obama (Harvard UP, 2010)and Beyond Atlanta: The Struggle for Racial Equality in Georgia, 1940-1980 (University of Georgia, 2003).