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Red Scare Racism and Cold War Black Radicalism$
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James Zeigler

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781496802385

Published to University Press of Mississippi: January 2017

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496802385.001.0001

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date: 19 January 2019

Back to the Billboard: The Long Civil Rights Movement Still

Back to the Billboard: The Long Civil Rights Movement Still

(p.191) Conclusion Back to the Billboard: The Long Civil Rights Movement Still
Red Scare Racism and Cold War Black Radicalism

James Zeigler

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter concludes the book with additional consideration of the John Birch Society billboard campaign against Martin Luther King Jr. Supplementing the account of anticommunist propaganda in the first chapter, the discussion here remarks on how the billboard’s photograph was acquired at Tennessee’s Highlander Folk School by illicit surveillance conducted by the Georgia Education Commission outside of its jurisdiction. The photograph is a typical exhibit in the archive of state-sanctioned anti-black racism that confronted the civil rights movement in that classic period between Brown v. Board of Education and the Voting Rights Act. At the same time, the chapter argues, the JBS billboard campaign against King is part of the afterlife of anti-black racism, post de jure segregation, for which Red Scare rhetoric remains a potent resource for diverting attention from the convergence of racism and class exploitation.

Keywords:   Martin Luther King Jr., Georgia Education Commission, Highlander Folk School, Civil rights movement, anticommunism

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