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FBI and ReligionFaith and National Security before and after 9/11$
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Sylvester A. Johnson and Steven Weitzman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520287273

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520287273.001.0001

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Dreams and Shadows

Dreams and Shadows

Martin Luther King Jr., the FBI, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference

Chapter:
(p.168) 10 Dreams and Shadows
Source:
FBI and Religion
Author(s):

Sylvester A. Johnson

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520287273.003.0011

This chapter explains how the FBI targeted Martin Luther King, Jr. as an exceptional and uniquely dangerous threat to the nation’s internal security. The author demonstrates the numerous efforts by the bureau to oppose the influential activism of King and the organization he led, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The chapter explains the important shifts in American culture that pitted the more radical activism of civil rights leaders against an increasingly strident FBI that was determined to thwart law abiding activists who challenged the nation’s mainstream racial politics. The author argues that the pivotal issue behind the FBI’s repression of King was not personal antagonism between King and Hoover but the politics of race and repression.

Keywords:   Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Martin Luther King, Jr., counterintelligence

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