Week 16

Tues: Daphne, Eli, Stephen, Marco and Tyler:

Daphne Letherer

This essay looks at the lives and work of Claudia Jones and Angela Davis, two prominent Communist black women. Jones was most famous during the late 1940s-1950s. Davis is most well-known for her high-profile trial in 1972. Both women practiced a form of communism that was more extreme than Marx’s because they emphasized the role of race and gender, which Marx ignores. The main difference between women such as Jones and Davis to their female contemporaries was they believed socialism was the answer to achieve their visions of freedom. I look at these women’s work and beliefs in feminism, political oppression, and Communism as the solution to oppression. In addition to looking at them individually, I connect the transition form Jones to Davis. The work and lives of Jones and Davis are used in this essay to show the existence of active black women in the Communist Party, as well as to show their importance. Both Jones and Davis pushed communism and the black liberation movement to be more inclusive, leaving lasting impacts on the movement.

Eli Lohrey

This essay follows the Civil Rights movement in the city of Cincinnati throughout the 1960’s. It starts with small events in the early 1960’s and follows the movement up until 1967 when the Avondale riots broke out. This essay aims to sort of create a timeline of events throughout the 1960’s and due to the lack of books about the movement in Cincinnati it aims to explain just what happened during this time. This essay also compares the movement in Cincinnati with the movement as a whole. For example, it compares Cincinnati’s school protest and riots with those of other cities throughout the country.

Stephen McGarry

The civil rights activists faced considerable danger in the south. The ever present threats from the Klan, police, and government agencies made it impossible for activists to feel safe. One remedy to this was armed self-defense, as was seen in Bogalusa Louisiana. Self-defense was popular among many as it gave activists power and allowed them to take measures to guarantee their own safety. However, the use of self-defense was always controversial in the civil rights movement as it had the potential to both support and hinder the movement. While major groups such as the Deacons enabled self-defense to reach more people in a more effective manner, the idea of armed self-defense had several major flaws that often lead to an increase in violence and was ineffective in actually achieving equal rights on its own. The first of these problems was the fact that self-defense had the potential to take power away from the nonviolent civil rights movement. Secondly, the use of firearms could sometimes increase the amount of violence. Finally, it was very simple for acts of self-defense to turn into aggressive, offensive, acts of revenge. Once this occurred the violence was no longer in the name of defense and was instead radical terrorism

 Tyler Poeschel

This paper will examine busing/desegregation in Columbus, Ohio and the communities reaction to this effort of integrating schools. The paper will look at the Supreme Court Case Penick v Columbus Board of Education and the major players that were involved in this case/community. Ultimately, this paper will look at different organizations such as the NAACP, Vanguard League, and the KKK to examine community tensions. Also, there are three secondary sources I will draw on that will contextualize the situation and how the process of desegregation and possible resegregation.

Thurs: William, Tori, Shay, John, and Hao:

William Ruebsteck

Abstract: In the summer of 1966 an altercation at a bar in the Hough neighborhood of Cleveland caused a public disturbance where 4 people had been killed, several buildings to be burned and the national guard had to be brought in to maintain order. The following paper will examine the factors that caused a buildup in frustration including Urban Renewal, police brutality, predatory land lords as well as the incident that sparked the violence. The paper will then explore what occurred in Cleveland during the week of violence including the responses of police, national guard, mayor and civil rights groups. It will then examine how the city of Cleveland determined the cause of the disturbances and as well as the measures that should be taken to improve Hough and prevent any further violence.

 John Stevens


Throughout the course of this research paper I will be examining and criticizing the involvement and negative influence of white liberals in the civil rights movement. In doing so I will rely on numerous interviews and speeches by Malcom X as well as the opinions of other prominent leaders during the movement such as Martin Luther King and Stokely Carmichael. The different ways that these white liberals negatively influenced the movement will be addressed, these being their evident search for power through attempting to appeal to the black voter, not truly placing full trust in certain civil rights leaders who didn’t completely go along with the white liberal’s terms which arguably weakened the movement, and finally by not having a full understanding of the movement itself as well as the issues it faced which lead to inadequate help and support from the white liberals.

Hao Tang


This paper explores the role of civil right photography in the 1960s from the big theoretical analysis of the civil rights images to the local studies of the images on the ground. By analyzing more national and popular images, especially in Birmingham, in tandem with ones on the ground, this paper aims to explores the question of authorship and the tension between black passivity and activism in the civil rights photos. Lastly, this paper will touch on the photos in the north as a way to sense the correlation of photos in the north and south on a limited scope, since studies on the north are still emerging.  In detail, this paper starts from analyzing the photos in Birmingham, which produced national effect, to the photos in Memphis, Greenville, which were unexposed to a larger audience. Also, besides the national versus ground photos, the difference between the black media and white media as well as the difference between a single photographer and a particular party are compared in the paper. As a result, it becomes obvious that the various objectives, audiences, geographies played important roles in the civil rights images.