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Rethinking the Civil Rights Movement

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Premilla Nadasen, Queens College, CUNYWomen and Black Freedom: Rethinking the Civil Rights MovementThe Graduate Center, CUNYApril 22, 2010Historian Premilla Nadasen examines the importance of women in the Black Freedom Movements of the 1960s and 1970s. In Part 1 of this podcast, she outlines how the traditional narrative of the Civil Rights Movement, which tended toward “great men approach” is being expanded in three ways: 1) the timeframe is extended beyond 1955-1968; 2) the geography is expanded to encompass the North; and 3) a broader range of activists are considered including those who promoted armed self-defense and women who focused on gender issues. In Part 2, starting at 25:40, Premilla Nadasen focuses on Johnnie Tillmon and welfare rights activism to illustrate how inclusion of this movement expands the Civil Rights narrative to include gender, economics, and women’s self-determination.

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