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SNCC's 50-year legacy

The statement at the end of my essay that the CR movement was never intended to be more than a reform struggle except in the eyes of radicals such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X may give some readers the impression that they were the only ones. This would be mistaken. There were certainly radical, even revolutionary currents within SNCC beginning about 1964. The Black Panther Party, which began in Oakland, was clearly revolutionary until its later years, and the League of Revolutionary Black Workers in Detroit was explicity Marxit-Leininist. The comprehensive history by Clayborne Carson, In Struggle: SNCC and the Black Awakening of the 1960s, which I should have cited, gives details on the rise of SNCC, its shift to Black Power, its debates about revolution, and its collapse. There are some two dozen books by SNCC veterans, or about SNCC by others, and there is a SNCC website.


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