Integrating Baltimore: Protest and Accommodation, 1945-1963

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1991

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Abstract

After the Second World War, non-violent direct action protest became the tool of choice for civil rights workers. During the war democratic rhetoric and extended interracial contact inspired many blacks and some whites to work for racial justice. This thesis deals with the efforts of some blacks and whites to integrate parts of Baltimore, and follows community response. Specifically, Chapter One deals with early efforts of the Progressive Party and its supporters to integrate city operated park facilities. Chapter Two follows the integration of Baltimore City schools in the fall of 1954, and the complete integration of city park s in 1956. School integration caused some violent community reaction, which the authorities suppressed. The final chapter explores the origins of the public accommodations movement. As early as 1951 students at Morgan State protested against segregated theaters, stores and restaurants. After 1953 the students members of the Baltimore Committee of Racial Equality and a some other liberal whites sometimes worked with the students. The Morgan students' experiences before 1960 were crucial to their emergence as leaders of the civil rights movement after 1960.

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