Professor Clarence Taylor's Latest Book Due this Spring
"Civil Rights in New York City" examines civil rights campaigns and the people and organizations who were involved in those campaigns from the 1940s to the Giuliani administration. Until recently, scholars ignored northern civil rights campaigns. New York was one of the most important centers of civil rights activities. It is the home of one of the largest black populations in the United States and numerous campaigns for racial equality took place in New York City.
"Several monographs on [this subject] have been written, but none rival this one in terms of breadth or depth." - Peter B. Levy, York College"
This is the first volume that includes major interpretations of northern civil rights. "Civil Rights in New York City" challenges conventional works on the civil rights movement that usually contend that the civil rights movement started in 1954. Instead, this volume begins be examining the effort by a Communist led union during World War II to push a civil rights agenda. Popular Front organizations and not just the national civil rights organizations or the religious community were in the forefront for racial equality. "Civil Rights in New York" is the first work to explore the campaign for integrated housing at Rochdale Village, one of the largest housing complexes in the city. Civil right organizations were also active in the North years before Martin Luther King Jr'.s campaign in Chicago in 1966.
"Civil Rights in New York City" examines the Brooklyn branch of the Congress of Racial Equality's campaign to force New York City to provide adequate sanitation services to Bedford-Stuyvesant, the largest black community in Brooklyn. Two important national civil rights figures, Ella Baker and Bayard Rustin, were also active in New York City. This work explores their effort for civil rights. One of the most dynamic grassroots efforts in the city was led by college students. This work is the first to turn attention to the effort by black and Latino students for open admissions at the City University of New York. Their effort resulted in the largest civil rights successful campaigns in higher education. "Civil Rights in New York City" also moves away from the black/white paradigm of race relations studies by focusing on the activities and philosophy of the Young Lords Party, a political organization made up of mostly Puerto Ricans.
About the Author
Clarence Taylor is Professor of History and Black and Hispanic Studies at Baruch College and Professor of History at the Graduate Center, CUNY. His forthcoming book, Reds at the Blackboard: Communism, Academic Freedom, Civil Rights and the New York City Teachers Union will be published by Columbia University Press.