David Chappell‘s new book went on sale yesterday, just in time for the holiday weekend. It’s full title is Waking from a Dream: The Struggle for Civil Rights in the Shadow of Martin Luther King, Jr. Chappell is the Rothbaum Professor of Modern American History at the University of Oklahoma and the author of the acclaimed Stone of Hope: Prophetic Religion and the Death of Jim Crow.
Over at Religion in American History, Michael Hammond has published a two-part interview with Chappell. You can read Part I here. And here is a taste of Part II:
You could see it more loosely as just this ongoing struggle for African American freedom that’s been going on since the middle passage, and some ways since before the middle passage. I think each new chapter takes a very, very different perspective and tells a very, very different story from the previous chapter. And I do think I am more of a splitter than a lumper—that it’s the uniqueness of historical events and historical characters historical circumstances that leap out to you and demands attention.
Tom Van Dyke says
The elided truth is that MLK's biggest battle was with irrelevance after 1965. On his left, he wasn't exotic enough for the radical chic of Malcolm or the Panthers, and to his right–most of the country–his further agenda of left-wing social engineering was unacceptable.
Martin Luther King Day froze the MLK of 1965 in time, at the crest of his great victories, where racial equality became the law of the land. What followed is of biographical importance, but not historical.