Defining the Struggle: National Organizing for Racial Justice, 1880-1915

Susan Carle


  • Uncovers overlooked early history of the law-related aspects of national civil rights organizing
  • Disproves standard assumptions that significant national civil rights organizing started in the 1930s
  • Dates the commencement of the dual strategy of civil rights test case litigation coupled with national organization building to the 1880s, rather than the 1930s as commonly assumed
  • Shows that early civil rights activists were pursuing a racial justice strategy that blended political and civil rights equality with social welfare and economic fairness concerns