Date of Award

Summer 2018

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Religion, PhD

Program

School of Religion

Concentration

Modern Christianity in North America

Second Concentration

History with Archival Studies

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Patrick Mason

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Linda Perkins

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Monica Coleman

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

2018 Wook Jong Lee

Abstract

This dissertation examines the historical factors that built grassroots movements during the civil rights era of the United States. These movements were produced by Christian women leaders, and they influenced a crucial transition in the leadership of the civil rights movement. Through their training and mobilizing tactics, women civil rights leaders utilized grassroots leadership to help major civil rights organizations, such as SCLC, SNCC, CORE, COFO, and the NAACP, work closely with local black people in the South who struggled with their underprivileged circumstances. This project investigates the key role of the grassroots leadership of Christian women leaders, which led civil rights leaders to learn how to train and work together with local black people to desegregate voter registration and which drove their voting rights movement to succeed in achieving the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The nationwide successes of the Birmingham Campaign, the Freedom Summer Project, the St. Augustine Movement, and the Selma to Montgomery marches were essentially based on the Citizenship School, and Christian women leaders trained the major civil rights activists of these movements. This dissertation identifies the contributions of the women leaders’ Citizenship School as key to these successes during the civil rights movement.

Comments

Introduction ………………..……………………………………..…………...1

Chapter One: Origins and Debates about the Leadership of the Voting Rights Drive by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference from 1957 to 1960

…………………..24

Chapter Two: Reaching People at the Grass Roots:

The Citizenship Education Program of SCLC ……………..66

Chapter Three: The Citizenship School’s Women Leaders’ Christian Thoughts and Practices for Grassroots Leadership ……………...158

Chapter Four: The Citizenship School: From the Birmingham Campaign to the Selma to Montgomery Marches …………………………………….224

Conclusion.…………………………………………………..………………..271

Epilogue.………………………………………………………………………273

DOI

10.5642/cguetd/149

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