Civil Rights in New York City: From World War II to the Giuliani Era

Fordham University Press
9/1/2013

Civil Rights in New York City: From World War II to the Giuliani Era Overview

Since the 1960s, most U.S. History has been written as if the civil rights movement were primarily or entirely a Southern history. This book joins a growing body of scholarship that demonstrates the importance of the Northern history of the movement. The contributors make clear that civil rights in New York City were contestedin many ways, beginning long before the 1960s, and across many groups with a surprisingly wide range of political perspectives. Civil Rights in New York City provides a sample of the rich historical record of the fight for racial justice in the city that was home to the nation's largest population of African-Americans in mid-twentiethcentury America.The ten contributions brought together here address varying aspects of New York's civil rights struggle, including the role of labor, community organizing campaigns, the pivotal actions of prominent national leaders, the movement for integrated housing, the fight for racial equality in public higher education, and the part played by a revolutionary group that challenged structural, societal inequality. Long before the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Reverend Adam Clayton Powell Jr. helped launch the Harlem Bus Boycott of 1941. The New York City's Teachers' Union had been fighting for racial equality since 1935. Ella Baker worked with the NAACP and the city's grassroots movement to force the city to integrate its public school system. In 1962, a directaction campaign by Brooklyn CORE, a racially integrated membership organization, forced the city to provide better sanitation services to Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn's largest black community. Integrating Rochdale Village in South Jamaica, the largest middle-class housing cooperative in New York, brought together an unusual coalition of leftists, liberal Democrats, moderate Republicans, pragmatic government officials,and business executives.In reexamining these and other key events, Civil Rights in New York City reaffirms their importance to the larger national fight for equality for Americans across racial lines.


Civil Rights in New York City: From World War II to the Giuliani Era Table Of Content

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: Civil Rights in New York City Clarence Taylor 1

1 To Be a Good American: The New York City Teachers Union and Race during the Second World War Clarence Taylor 10

2 Cops, Schools, and Communism: Local Politics and Global Ideologies-New York City in the 1950s Barbara Ransby 32

3 "Taxation without Sanitation Is Tyranny": Civil Rights Struggles over Garbage Collection in Brooklyn, New York, during the Fall of 1962 Brian Purnell 52

4 Rochdale Village and the Rise and Fall of Integrated Housing in New York City Peter Eisenstadt 77

5 Conservative and Liberal Opposition to the New York City School-Integration Campaign Clarence Taylor 95

6 The Dead End of Despair: Bayard Rustin, the 1968 New York School Crisis, and the Struggle for Racial Justice Daniel Perlstein 118

7 The Young Lords and the Social and Structural Roots of Late Sixties Urban Radicalism Johanna Fernandez 141

8 "Brooklyn College Belongs to Us": Black Students and the Transformation of Public Higher Education in New York City Martha Biondi 161

9 Racial Events, Diplomacy, and Dinkins's Image Wilbur C. Rich 182

10 "One City, One Standard": The Struggle for Equality in Rudolph Giuliani's New York Jerald Podair 204

Notes 219

List of Contributors 267

Index 269


Civil Rights in New York City: From World War II to the Giuliani Era Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Clarence Taylor long has been recognized as the most important historian of this nation's most important city: New York. Now he has assembled a veritable Dream Team of scholars who contribute their own unique expertise in shedding light on how and why Gotham engaged the critically profound question of Civil Rights in the way it did. This book, as a consequence, is a monumental contribution to the history ofCivil Rights, African-American History, Urban History, Latino History and--most of all--the history of New York City.-Gerald Horne

I've been waiting for such a book for years. Anyone interested in postwar New York or the modern civil rights movement needs to read this book. The history of the black freedom struggle looks much different when we widen our gaze from the Cradle of the Confederacy to the home of Ellis Island.-Jeanne Theoharis

Several monographs on [this subject] have been written, but none rival this one in terms of breadth or depth.-Peter B. Levy

"Attempts to provide some balance through 10 academic essays that cast light on struggles between blacks and organized labor, civil rights and the cold war, discrimination that extended even to garbage collection, and the competing visions of Mayors David N. Dinkins and Rudolph W. Giuliani."-Sam Roberts, New York Times

A sober, practical, and serious-minded collection, highly recommended.- The Midwest Book Review


Readers' Reviews