An uneasy peace: the struggle for civil rights and economic justice in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, 1960-1969

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jess Alan Usher (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Bolton Charles

Abstract: This dissertation provides an innovative expansion of the historiography of Upper South locations during the Black Freedom Struggle and the War on Poverty of the 1960s. This study asserts that racial attitudes in Winston-Salem were superficially cordial and accommodating among the elites of both classes, with both sides invested in presenting a positive image of the city to the outside world. This tradition had its roots in the peculiar form of slavery practiced by the communitarian Moravians and was carried forward by New South industrialists and financiers. This dissertation demonstrates that at various moments in history, the less-privileged classes within the African American community revolted against the elites of both races to foment much more rapid change than was previously thought possible. "An Uneasy Peace" is concerned as well with the opinions and emotions of southern whites as they came to terms with the reality that their world was forever changing. This study examined hundreds of “letters to the editor” of local newspapers which provided contemporary opinions of events that occurred locally in Winston-Salem as well as elsewhere in the civil rights movement. These sources provide insights from people across lines of race, class, gender, and generation in a way not previously seen in any local movement study. “An Uneasy Peace” goes beyond the usual simplistic view of the struggle for civil rights as a straightforward battle between good and evil to probe the historical complexities and “gray areas” of various race-based issues and ideologies.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2015
Black history, Civil rights, Economic justice, Race relations, Southern whites, Winston-Salem
African Americans $x Civil rights $z North Carolina $z Winston-Salem
Civil rights movements $z North Carolina $z Winston-Salem
Winston-Salem (N.C.) $x Race relations
Winston-Salem (N.C.) $x Economic conditions
Winston-Salem (N.C.) $x Social conditions
Letters to the editor $z North Carolina $z Winston-Salem
Winston-Salem (N.C.) $v Newspapers

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