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Countervailing Forces in African-American Civic Activism, 1973–1994


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  • Date Published: March 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521614139

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About the Authors
  • In this study assessing black civic participation after the civil rights movement, Fredrick C. Harris, Valeria Sinclair-Chapman and Brian D. McKenzie demonstrate that the changes in black activism since the civil rights movement is characterized by a tug-of-war between black political power on one side and economic conditions in black communities on the other. As blacks gain greater access and influence within the political system, black participation in political activities increases while downward turns in the economic conditions of black communities produce less civic involvement in black communities. Examining changes in black activism from the early 1970s to the 1990s, this tug-of-war demonstrates that the quest for black political empowerment and the realities of economic and social life act as countervailing forces, in which negative economic and social conditions in black communities weaken the capacity of blacks to organize so that their political voices can be heard.

    • Was the first ever study assessing black civic participation after the civil rights movement
    • Macro-level treatment of black political participation
    • Examines African-American social and economic trends
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    • Winner of the 2007 Ralph Bunche Award

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521614139
    • length: 190 pages
    • dimensions: 227 x 177 x 10 mm
    • weight: 0.26kg
    • contains: 5 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Good times and bad: trends in the economic, social, and political conditions of African Americans in the post-civil rights era
    3. Studying group activism: toward a macro approach to black civic participation
    4. Echoes of black civic activism: historical foundations and longitudinal considerations
    5. Shifting forces: modeling changes in post-civil rights black activism
    6. From margin to center: bringing structural forces into focus in the analysis of black activism.

  • Authors

    Fredrick C. Harris, University of Rochester, New York
    Fredrick C. Harris is Associate Professor and Director of the Center for the Study of African-American Politics at the University of Rochester. Previously he was a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation and was named a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Harris is the author of Something Within: Religion in African-American Political Activism (Oxford University Press), which won the V.O. Key Award for Best Book in Southern Politics, the Distinguished Book Award by the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, thr Best Book Award by National Conference of Black Political Scientists, and the Choice Award.

    Valeria Sinclair-Chapman, University of Rochester, New York
    Valeria Sinclair-Chapman is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Rochester. She is co-author with William D. Anderson and Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier of 'The Keys to Legislative Success in the US House of Representatives' in Legislative Studies Quarterly (2003). Sinclair-Chapman's research examines the substantive and symbolic representation of black interests in Congress as well as minority agenda-setting on the national level.

    Brian D. McKenzie, University of Maryland, College Park
    Brian D. McKenzie is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Texas A&M University. Prior to joining the Texas A&M University faculty he was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Emory University. He was also a Fellow at the University of Rochester-Center for the Study of African-American Politics from 2002–3. His work has appeared in Political Research Quarterly, the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, and African-American Research Perspectives.


    • Winner of the 2007 Ralph Bunche Award

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