Pioneer and Participant: The Black Power Movement and the Political Activism of John Oliver Killens Open Access

Radcliffe, James Walker (2012)

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This thesis studies the political activism of African American author John Oliver Killens from 1964-1971. While previous scholarship has concentrated on his literary output, it has primarily neglected the political activism Killens's life. This thesis uses John Oliver Killens's political activism to examine the historiography of the Black Power Movement itself. It demonstrates how Killens articulated key tenets of the Black Power Movement in the years preceding the official coining of the term in 1966. It also shows how Killens was a key participant in the movement itself. Finally, it illuminates the key differences between the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Power Movement.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Preface 1
Chapter 1: Introduction and Historiography 5
Chapter Two: Biographical Sketch of John Oliver Killens 14
Chapter Three: John Oliver Killens and the Association of Artists for Freedom 1963-1964 24
Chapter Four: John Oliver Killens and the Congress On Racial Equality 1965-1968 47
Chapter Five: John Oliver Killens and Political Activism in Local Movements 59
I. Killens and Chicago's "Protest at the Polls," 1965 59
II. The Political Activism of John Oliver Killens and the Black Power Movement in Newark, New Jersey 1969-1970 65
Conclusion 71
Bibliography 75

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