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Black Intellectual Thought in Modern AmericaA Historical Perspective$
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Brian D. Behnken, Gregory D. Smithers, and Simon Wendt

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781496813657

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496813657.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 08 March 2021

The Quest for Racial Change

The Quest for Racial Change

African American Intellectuals and the Black Liberal Tradition

(p.80) Chapter Three The Quest for Racial Change
Black Intellectual Thought in Modern America

Brian D. Behnken

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter explores the history of black liberalism. Itself the most often recognized form of black intellectualism, liberalism is far more complex than is commonly understood. Black liberals imbibed the notions of American democracy and constitutional government, albeit with black people included equally within that constitutional or political framework. Black liberals have had a multiplicity of goals and tactics, from integration to voting rights, from public scholarship to political leadership. But their most important endeavor was rooted in the concept of racial change. Racial change symbolized a transformation of American life that, at its most basic, meant the complete evolution of black equality in the United States.

Keywords:   black liberalism, black intellectualism, American democracy, constitutional government, integration, voting rights, racial change, black equality

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