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Tuesday, March 1st, 2011 by

Stealth Reconstruction by Glen Browder

Former Alabama Congressman Glen Browder said it was an interest in the role biracial politics played in the civil rights movement that inspired his two books with NewSouth, The South’s New Racial Politics and Stealth Reconstruction. Appearing at Converse College in February alongside his Stealth Reconstruction co-author, North Carolina Central University assistant professor Artemesia Stanberry, Browder discussed the role of these lesser-known civil rights activists and helped lead a dialogue on the future of race relations. The Winston-Salem Journal covered the event:

Browder, a South Carolina native and a professor emeritus at Jacksonville State University in Alabama, said he started thinking about the role biracial politics played in the civil-rights movement. He contacted Stanberry, who worked as his congressional aide and is now a political science professor at North Carolina Central University, to help him with the project.

Said Browder: “The heroic drama involved Dr. King and Rosa Parks on one side and you had Bull Connor turning fire hoses on people and George Wallace standing in doors of universities on the other side, but it occurred to me a lot of change was not of that nature.

“There were some black leaders and white politicians who got together behind closed doors and said, ‘We have to do things differently.'”

The authors said the work of these leaders was done “stealthy” or in secret. They said there had to be a transition right after the civil-rights movement made up of leaders and politicians interested in moving the South beyond segregation in the 1970s through the ’90s.

“It had to be done stealthy because white politicians wouldn’t have been able to get elected if people knew what they were doing and black leaders couldn’t get elected at that time,” Browder said. “Civil disobedience helped to change laws in the legal system, but there was mass resistance.

“It took practical politics to help change things.”

Read the full article from the Winston-Salem Journal.

Stealth Reconstruction: The Untold Story of Southern Politics and History is available from NewSouth Books, Amazon.com, or your favorite online or retail bookseller.

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