One of Branch's greatest accomplishments and contributions has been to master the complicated characters of the Civil Rights movement, not just King, Johnson, and Carmichael, but lesser figures, too, the liberal New York lawyer Stanley Levison, the FBI man Deke Deloach.
Here is Branch, for instance, summing up the difference between the two presidents King had to deal with: "Whereas Kennedy had charmed King while keeping him at a safe distance, harping in private on the political dangers of alleged subversives in the civil rights movement, Johnson in the White House was intensely personal but unpredictable--treating King variously to a Texas bear hug of shared dreams or a towering, wounded snit.
But it also described the signal problem of liberal politicians for the next 40 years: How to generate the same moral righteousness and authority that had animated the Civil Rights movement against more subtle problems and actors--poverty, the ghetto, health care, and social mobility.
The son of Cuban and Puerto Rican parents says blacks in Latin America have an even lower standing socially than African Americans did prior to the Civil Rights Movement
They don't think to call it the southern civil rights movement because the southern-ness of the movement is taken for granted.
The early civil rights movement in New York is the story of Jackie Robinson to Paul Robeson to Malcolm X, a trajectory from integrationist optimism to Black Nationalist critique, with a flourishing African American left at its center.
So we have a portrait of the civil rights movement in the south, and the 'Black Liberation movement' happening later in the North and West.
Revising the chronology and geography of the Civil Rights Movement has many implications.
To be sure, scholars have documented northern segregation since the antebellum period, but writing on the civil rights movement still tends to frame the story of segregation in an exclusively southern context.
In this regard, it is critical to remember that the northern civil rights movement began before McCarthyism and Cold War liberalism shut the door on more through-going critiques of American society.
The rise of New York City as a cosmopolitan global capitol was a legacy of the New York Civil Rights Movement.
All that these groups and the gay and lesbian civil rights movement want are the same rights that everyone else has.
When the black civil rights movement began, notes the Washington libertarian, "all blacks were visible, and they all in some way represented their race.