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Ideologies and Strategies in African American Politics

Kevin R. Anderson

Narrated by David Randall Hunter

Available from Audible

Book published by The University of Arkansas Press

Though the activities of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) were unified in their common idea of resistance to oppression, these groups fought their battles on multiple fronts. The NAACP filed lawsuits and aggressively lobbied Congress and state legislatures, while Martin Luther King Jr. and SCLC challenged the racial status quo through nonviolent mass action, and the SNCC focused on community empowerment activities. In Agitations, Kevin Anderson studies these various activities in order to trace the ideological foundations of these groups and to understand how diversity among African Americans created multiple political strategies.

Agitations goes beyond the traditionally acknowledged divide between integrationist and accommodationist wings of African American politics to explore the diverse fundamental ideologies and strategic outcomes among African American activists that still define, influence, and complicate political life today.

Kevin R. Anderson is assistant professor of political science at Eastern Illinois University.


“Kevin Anderson has expertly plumbed the depths of the black political experience in creating for the reader an eminently causal linkage between the historical nature of the oppression the black community has faced and the emergence of this factor as the foundation for a politics of resistance. That resistance or ‘agitation,’ he found, took various forms; however its ideology, tactics and strategies were most dependent upon the leadership that evolved and the social location of organizations that were created.”

—Ron Walters, professor emeritus of government and politics at the University of Maryland, College Park

“A cogent account of the trajectory of black American strategic political thought in the 20th century…. Will be useful for courses in black politics and history, twentieth century American history, and political development.”

—Adolph Reed, co-author of Renewing the Black Intellectual History: The Ideological and Material Foundations of African American Thought

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University Press Audiobooks