Books: Civil Rights And Wrongs

Two views of the struggle to end segregation as witnessed by those on both sides of the revolution

In the case of the civil rights movement, television provided the first rough draft of history. Searing images of demonstrators being beaten, attacked by police dogs and knocked down by fire hoses aroused the conscience of the nation and helped assure the movement's success. But for all its power and persuasiveness, broadcast news inevitably oversimplified the story, literally reducing it, in the days before color TV, to a black-and-white morality play. It could not explain how ordinary black men and women and their white allies mustered the extraordinary courage with which they confronted the brutality of segregation. Nor could it explain...

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