Decline of the Second Reconstruction
The Second Reconstruction is broadly defined as the time period in America after the passing of the Civil rights act of 1964, which brought about the necessity for an efficient transition into racial and sociopolitical equality. During the following years this was not achieved and several movements were constituted that attempted to bring this wish into reality through enthusiastic albeit unsuccessful political, social and cultural actions.
The following is a chronological narrative and sociopolitical analysis of those attempts.
Prelude: Nixon Administration and the Suppression of a Revolution
In the late1960’s American politics were shifting at a National level with liberalism being less supported as its politics were perceived as flawed, both by people on the left who thought that liberalism was not as effective as more radical political enterprises and by conservatives who believed that liberal politics were ostensibly crippling the American economy.
This political shift was materialized with the advent of the Southern Strategy in which Democrat president Lyndon Johnson’s support of Civil Rights harmed his political power in the South, Nixon and the republican party picked up on these formerly blue states and promoted conservative politics in order to gain a larger voter representation. Nixon was elected in a year drenched in social and political unrest as race riots occurred in 118 U.S cities at the aftermath of Martin Luther King’s murder, as well as overall American bitterness due to the assassination of presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy and the extensive student-led activist opposition to the Vietnam War.
The late 1960’s also saw the advent of several movements promoting Black Nationalism to unify the African-American community through the efforts of Black Power, most notably the formation of the Black Panthers in 1967 who were dedicated to oversee the protection of African-Americans against police brutality and the support of disadvantaged street children through their Free breakfast for Children program.
During this time black power was politically reflected through the electorate as the 1960-70’s saw a rise in Black elected officials. In 1969 there were a total of 994 black men and 131 black women in office in the country, this figure more than tripled by 1975 when there were 2969 black men and 530 black women acting in office; more than half of these elected officials were acting in Southern States. While these politicians belonged to desegregationist organizations such as NAACP or the CORE they were not political activists and even though they had a mutual understanding for the black working class they had a different outlook mostly in concurrence to the black elite. It is also important to note that lower-educated African-Americans tended not to vote, as the black electorate was mostly composed of people who had gone through more than 5 years of formal education.
The emergence of Black...