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Title page for ETD etd-04102013-122912

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Lipson, Steven Jay
URN etd-04102013-122912
Title The bible and the ballot: Rev. Joseph H. Jackson and black conservatism in the civil rights movement
Degree Master of Arts
Department History
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Dennis C. Dickerson Committee Member
Gary Gerstle Committee Member
  • J.H. Jackson
  • Joseph H. Jackson
  • black Baptists
  • African-American conservatism
  • black conservatives
  • African-American conservatives
Date of Defense 2012-12-10
Availability unrestricted
Conventional wisdom about the African-American freedom struggle typically sees blacks as challenging white racism through either integrationism or nationalism. But this binary overlooks the powerful strand of black conservatism represented by Rev. Joseph Harrison Jackson (1900-1990), the long-time president of the National Baptist Convention. Historians have tended to dismiss Jackson’s role in the civil rights movement by representing his disputes with Martin Luther King, Jr. as being over power rather than principle. But Jackson’s writings reveal a man with a coherent, thoughtful world view that persisted throughout his adult life. Jackson’s philosophy was vastly different from King’s on a whole host of religious and secular issues, and its overall thrust was decidedly conservative in a manner that allows one to question not only his support for the tactics of the mainstream civil rights movement but even at times his commitment to its very goals. Jackson’s strand of black conservatism, advocating economic self-sufficiency and Christian evangelism, was neither integrationist nor nationalist, nor was it the voice of an isolated extremist. Scholars studying the civil rights movement must take seriously the attitudes and behaviors of advocates of this third major response to the black freedom struggle.
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