“The Deacons Are Somewhere Nearby”: How Bogalusa’s Deacons Bolstered The Civil Rights Movement

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Matthew David Streets (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: https://library.appstate.edu/
Louis Gallien

Abstract: The Deacons for Defense and Justice—specifically the Bogalusa, Louisiana chapter—made a lasting impression on the debate between nonviolence and self-defense in the American civil rights movement. With an awareness of the influence of media, especially in regard to its coverage of the tense social atmosphere of the 1960s, the Deacons successfully implemented and justified the practice of self-defense with guns. During the summer of 1965, the city of Bogalusa witnessed the eruption of a chaotic racial situation that had been developing for decades. Mass attention, ranging from that of civil rights activists to media journalists, centered on the city as local and regional whites clashed with Bogalusa’s black community. The Deacons challenged the effectiveness of nonviolent activism through their application of self-defense to bolster this disadvantaged populace. Despite its sole aim to protect the black population, the Bogalusa chapter of the Deacons found itself invigorating the broader civil rights movement and successfully navigating the media landscape.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Streets, M. (2020). “The Deacons Are Somewhere Nearby”: How Bogalusa’s Deacons Bolstered The Civil Rights Movement. Unpublished Honors Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2020
Deacons for Defense and Justice, Self-defense, Nonviolence, Civil Rights Movement, Activism, Guns, Media, Louisiana

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