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Overview

As the movement moved out of the South and away from a largely Christian orientation, it became clear that people were prepared to enlarge the struggle so that it became linked to international issues including the war in Vietnam, the spread of capitalism, and the exploitation of developing countries. Yet for every moment of great promise, there was a moment of great confusion and despair. In this lecture, Professor Holloway traces the competing lines of activism, change, struggle, frustration, and political brinksmanship that occurred in the late sixties. He focuses on SNCC’s trajectory, Martin Luther King’s poverty campaign in Chicago, his views on Vietnam, the riots that followed his 1968 assassination, and the Poor People’s Campaign. The remainder of the lecture focuses on the national and international events of 1968 that contributed to this feeling of unrest sweeping the country. As the movement grew beyond its traditional boundaries, the moral and psychological hold it had on America began to lose its strength. As Professor Holloway explains, by the end of the 1960s, it seemed that Americans cared little for the larger and more complicated truths pointed to by black radicals’ political, social, economic, and cultural critique.

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