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October 3, 2003

TRC Boardroom, Main Building, CSB

Kelly Kraemer, Peace Studies

Shall We Overcome?

Roles of White Allies in the Civil Rights Movement Although we often think of the civil rights movement as a black movement, Americans of many races were actively involved, including many who at first glance appeared to have more to lose than to gain should the movement succeed—white Americans. The presence of white allies raised serious questions for civil rights organizations, played a central and often beneficial part in some movement strategies, and directly influenced both the shift in emphasis from civil rights to black power in the late 1960s and the emergence of the women's liberation movement in the 1970s. In this presentation I will summarize the findings of my research into the roles of whites in the civil rights movement and discuss some of the most interesting consequences of their participation.