Freedom Bound Essay, Research Paper
In his book, Freedom Bound, Robert Weisbrot argues that the civil rights movement is interwoven with American political reform of the time, and furthermore, that “the black quest for justice and the national crusade for a ‘Great Society’ are best understood in relation to each other” (Weisbrot xiv). He traces the Great Society from its beginnings as Lyndon Johnson’s liberal social reform program, through the Reagan years, claiming it was not entirely successful in breaking down racial barriers between blacks and conservative whites. He believes the Great Society was “an insidious enemy of black America,” and that the federal government ultimately failed to deliever Johnson’s original vision for civil rights advancement and reform (245). In the end, he claims, thegovernment was not committed enough to the principles of the Great Society and thus, it unraveled. In addition to detailing the Great Society, Weisbrot also chronicles within his book, struggle for racial equality in America, from the first sit-in at a Greensboro, North Carolina Woolworth’to the freedom rides to the 1963 March on Washington. He incorporates all the pivotal and influencial civil rights organizations of the time, inlcuding the NAACP, CORE, SNCC and SCLC, and details their actions in moving toward racial equality. He also enlists personal accounts from those involved with the movement, incluing highly-regarded leaders and student protesters, to add a more intimate perspective to the movement. Through this, he successfully demonstrates that the civil rights movement was not simply an event in our nation’s history, but rather, a movement comprised of many different people with many different backgrounds, all working toward a common goal of equality and freedom. Weisbort’s focus is not merely on the bills or protests or the marches, but on the people involved. He brings to live the civil rights movement in his book, and presents it from the eyes of those who know it best-those who lived it.