Rethinking Debatable Moments in the Civil Rights Movement

Learning for the Present Moment (First Edition)
Edited by David Julian Hodges, Neil Douglas, and Terry Wykowski
©2020, 368 pages

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Rethinking Debatable Moments in the Civil Rights Movement

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Summary
    Through a collection and analysis of carefully selected readings, Rethinking Debatable Moments in the Civil Rights Movement: Learning for the Present Moment highlights particular issues, tensions, and dynamics within the Civil Rights Movement. The text asks pointed questions regarding debatable moments of the Civil Rights Movement in order to encourage critical study, stimulate thinking about possible consequences then and now, seek answers or refine the questions, and seek direction for the present moment.

    The readings are organized in chapters according to the debatable moments: 1) Should the NAACP have pursued the case of Claudette Colvin in combating bus segregation in Montgomery?; 2) Should Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., have joined the Freedom Riders when invited to do so in 1961?; 3) Should children have been allowed to participate in the Birmingham Campaign protests in 1963?; 4) Should SNCC’s John Lewis have agreed to amend his speech in the 1963 March on Washington?; and 5) Should Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., have turned the marchers around at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma after Bloody Sunday? General and chapter introductions and an epilogue explore the context, the key players, the issues, the nature of the crisis, and the consequences and implications of each debatable moment.

    Rethinking Debatable Moments in the Civil Rights Movement is an excellent supplementary text for courses in anthropology, sociology, black studies, and related social science disciplines.

    David Julian Hodges is a professor of anthropology at Hunter College of the City University of New York. He received his Ph.D. from New York University and has done postdoctoral study at Harvard and Oxford Universities.
    Neil Douglas is a consultant, independent researcher, and principal of the Oxford Consulting Group in Houston, Texas. His work with universities, hospitals, global companies, and technology companies is focused on aligning culture, strategy, and behavior with purpose and reality.
    Terry Wykowski is a consultant, independent researcher, and principal of the Oxford Consulting Group in Houston, Texas. She holds master’s degrees in counseling and education from Hunter College of the City University of New York, as well as a master’s in management studies from the University of Oxford.
    Other Cognella titles by David Julian Hodges:

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    "Rethinking Debateable Moments in the Civil Rights Movement forces readers to ask important and challenging questions about race and the origins of racism in the United States. As a capital defense attorney, I am constantly confronting the legacy of racial and economic injustice. I firmly believe that anyone who works in the pursuit of racial justice needs to do the vital work of re-examining the civil rights era to understand where we are today."
    Estelle Hebron-Jones, Esq., Staff Attorney, Texas Defender Service

    As a survivor and now thriving refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, I was intrigued by the concept of debatable moments in the book Rethinking Debatable Moments in the Civil Rights Movement: Learning for the Present Moment. I would love to be in Professor Hodges’ class because as an international business student, my strength is to analyze and process issues. This book gave me limitless opportunities to do so and marvel at the courage and be motivated by these great leaders of the Civil Rights Movement to create present moments of justice in my work and life. The book gives me ideas to look back at the strategies that were implemented during the Civil Rights Movement that made significant changes in the United States. It changes my view of history because I was taught history with the general overview of what was reported. I never really got the opportunity to critically think, break down, and study the things that took place to make the Civil Rights Movement happen. I’m extremely excited that I got to learn and to expand my knowledge of the Civil Rights Movement through rethinking these debatable moments!"
    Zizi Kanyabire, Junior at University of Houston-Downtown

    "I applaud Professor Hodges for creating true discussions and debates about racism in his class and expanding this into the present moment through his, Douglas’ and Wykowski’s book Rethinking Debateable Moments in the Civil Rights Movement. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the other courageous leaders in this Godly mission had no prior experience in a movement of this magnitude but were led by a deep feeling about freedom and what it would take to obtain it from a people who were lost in the unjust human treatment of their neighbors. This Movement was born out of the evolving need for understanding true human unity, and dignified overall respect for all. Through this book and the critical role of teachers, schools, churches, other institutions and communities can now benefit from this way of learning and create their own debates and discussions to bring about healing and love especially in times like this all over the world which I experienced in over 22 countries!"
    Rev. Dr. Elbert Ransom, Jr., Professor, Virginia Theological Seminary

    "As a leader all my life and professionally in both the private and public sector, I value Rethinking Debatable Moments in the Civil Rights Movement: Learning for the Present Moment for both its concept in the classroom and its outcome as a learning process for teaching students how to look at many sides of an issue through critical thinking for life time learning. Using the Civil Rights Movement as the subject of debating the actions of its courageous leaders utilizing readings in this anthology prepares students and readers to fully understand the complexity of choice in this Movement. The reviews of these debatable moments and the questions for consideration for the present moment create a further learning experience for issues of racism and injustice so prevalent today."
    Omar Reid, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Harris Health System

    "Rethinking Debatable Moments in the Civil Rights Movement: Learning for the Present Moment illuminates issues that continue to this day. I grew up through this era and through this book and the readings and analysis, I have a much better understanding of what the courageous leaders faced over a half a century ago. This book has challenged my thinking as injustice and racism continue throughout the world. It is not only a good reference book but a prompting to see 'the news' and the complex issues with which we all need to grapple in a new light with the need for creative, innovative action!
    Ray Anthony, President of Anthony Innovation Group, Speaker and Author of 8 Business Books

    I found Professor Hodges' concept of debatable moments in his class, The Anthropology of the Civil Rights Movement, to be a great tool for fighting ignorance and learning about the complexities of our multicultural ethnocentric situation and the ongoing injustice in all its forms: social policies, economics, education, politics and government. Through readings, analyses, and reports of student participation, Rethinking Debatable Moments in the Civil Rights Movement: Learning for the Present Moment lays the groundwork to learn now through the avoidance of a simplistic 'sound bite' strategy to a more in-depth study and appreciation of the Civil Rights Movement as it relates to the very difficult decisions that my fellow leaders and I had to make."
    Ambassador Andrew Young, Chairman of the Andrew J. Young Foundation

    “There are two potent concepts that consume one’s mind while reading this authoritative historical narrative. Those concepts are freedom and justice. Rethinking Debatable Moments in the Civil Rights Movement: Learning for the Present Moment reminds us that the need is more pervasive than ever to understand racism and injustice since our nation's founding. Professor Hodges, Neil Douglas, and Terry Wykowski flawlessly succeed in bringing students, scholars, and readers into a new era of deep reflection and action with an abundance of learning for the present moment.”
    Max Castroparedes, Fourth-Year Student at the University of Virginia, Distinguished Majors Program, Foreign Affairs 2019–20 Presidential Fellow, Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress