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Mainstreaming Black Power$
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Tom Adam Davies

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520292109

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520292109.001.0001

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“A Mouthful of Civil Rights and an Empty Belly”

“A Mouthful of Civil Rights and an Empty Belly”

The War on Poverty and the Fight for Racial Equality

(p.13) One “A Mouthful of Civil Rights and an Empty Belly”
Mainstreaming Black Power

Tom Adam Davies

University of California Press

This chapter explores the War on Poverty's genealogy by tracing its roots in New Deal and Cold War liberal policy making and 1950s social science research, and by revealing the gendered social and economic assumptions that both underpinned the Johnson administration's antipoverty program and limited its effectiveness. It then maps how the War on Poverty unfolded in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and at the federal level, explaining how it became intertwined with the black freedom struggle and the ideological shift toward Black Power, before detailing the multiple and contrasting ways in which elected officials responded to the challenge that the program posed to their political authority. The chapter concludes by addressing the War on Poverty's impact on the American political landscape.

Keywords:   War on Poverty, New Deal, Cold War, 1950s, social science research, black freedom struggle, antipoverty program, New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta

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