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African-American Self-Defense

Miah, Malik

Publisher:  Against the Current
Date Written:  01/01/2015
Year Published:  2015  
Resource Type:  Article

A review of Charles E. Cobb Jr.'s book, "This Non-violent Stuff'll Get You Killed" on the role of guns in the US civil rights movement of the 1960s.



Charles Cobb's provocative title poses a serious question: did armed Blacks play an essential role in the southern Freedom Struggle and the victory of the civil rights movement?

Popular narrative says that the tactic of nonviolent direct action defeated Jim Crow segregation. Yet, as Cobb shows in this brilliant book, that tactic though decisive was at the center of a much more complicated reality.

Nonviolent field organizers in the Deep South were often protected by armed farmers and workers. In Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and other states run by white supremacists who used terrorism to impose their domination, guns were not an option but a necessity for African Americans.


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