By Sylvia Ellis
“Ellis paints a portrait of a political candidate who, like many different politicians, usually publicly sailed with the present political winds of the day yet who, in deepest, regularly exhibited a primary dedication to equity and justice. Freedom’s Pragmatist is a provocative and essential quantity for college kids, lecturers, researchers, and most people alike in rethinking Johnson’s lifelong courting with the fight for African American freedom and equality.”—John A. Kirk, editor of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement
“This accomplished and balanced research of Lyndon Johnson and civil rights is a huge contribution to the sector of modern U.S. heritage. Ellis argues convincingly that Johnson’s ethical imaginative and prescient and functional political abilities have been totally an important to the passage of significant laws advancing the felony rights of African americans. A greatest analysis.”?Anthony Edmunds, Ball country University
Lyndon B. Johnson made a number of significant contributions to the black freedom fight in the course of his time within the White condominium. He supplied much-needed ethical management on racial equality; secured the passage of landmark civil rights acts that ended felony segregation and ensured balloting rights for blacks; driven for affirmative motion; brought antipoverty, schooling, and well-being courses that benefited all; and made vital and symbolic appointments of African american citizens to key political positions.
This exam of Johnson’s lifestyles from adolescence via his long profession in politics argues that position, historic context, and private ambition are the keys to figuring out his stance on civil rights. Johnson’s point of view, in flip, is key to knowing the heritage of civil rights within the United States.
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Additional info for Freedom's Pragmatist: Lyndon Johnson and Civil Rights
He later recalled one famous incident when he heard that Johnson was about to grant money to Prairie View College. He asked Johnson to meet him at the statehouse to attempt to dissuade him from such an action. Apparently, he told Johnson, “I know that out at Johnson City, where you come from, there aren’t any coloreds. . ” Johnson listened carefully and when pressed responded by saying: “Well, in view of the inspiring example that you have just given me about how some people would treat Negroes and whites, I’m going to my oﬃce and I’m going to double the money I’m giving .
What I did was go around and get people to donate money for the equipment in the white areas and then apply that saving to Prairie View College, the ﬁrst, and at this stage, only state-supported black college in Texas, and use it to build dorms which they so badly needed. I’d stop over there to see how they were doing, on my way to the Houston oﬃce. ” This willingness to travel to the black schools and colleges, meet with the leaders, and discuss their needs was appreciated. And, when Johnson was informed he could not divert unused funding from white colleges into African American colleges, LBJ grasped the chance to press for a doubling of funds for black colleges.
Texas had an appalling record on lynching, coming behind only Mississippi and Georgia in terms of recorded incidents. And the debate on the subject involved highproﬁle individuals in the state, including Democratic senator Tom Connolly, who strongly opposed federal legislation, and the leader of the ASWPL, Jessie Daniel Ames, who also came from Texas. Despite the raised national consciousness surrounding lynching, in 1935 the WagnerCostigan anti-lynching bill failed to survive yet another southern ﬁlibuster.