The nature and effectiveness of Negro protest leadership in securing civil rights.
Wynn, Daniel Webster,1919-
MetadataShow full item record
A. Statement or Problem The purpose or the study was to discover and compare the nature and erfectiveness or the leadership in Negro Protest Action as represented by the National Association for the Advancement or Colored People and the Negro Protest Revolutionary Antagonism as exemplified by the leadership or Paul Robeson and W. E. B. DuBois. The Negro Protest Actionist and the Negro Protest Revolutionary Antagonist are at odds in the way in which they see and approach the problem or securing civil rights. While the revolutionist seeks to solve the Negro problem in a rundamental transrormation or the social system, the protest actionist accepts and works within the rramework or the social system. Choosing between these types or leadership has created a problem. The conflict has developed certain tensions among Negro Protest Leaders. It has developed confusion among the masses of Negroes who must choose between their leaders. The resolution of the problem requires an understanding of the nature and eff ectiveness of Negro Protest leadership which accepts the rramework of the existing order and of revolutionary movements in securing civil rights. In attempting to compare the alternative approaches to the problem, two movements were chosen as being representative of the two major schools of thought that are found in Negro leadership. B. The Methods of Procedure The study was limited to Negro Protest Action and Negro Protest Revolutionary Antagonism. It was based upon the hypothesis that Negro Protest Action had an advantage over Negro Protest Revolutionary Antagonism by virtue of the fact that it was not considered a threat to the status quo. The latter was allegedly identified with Russian Communism. The nature of each movement was compared by critically relating their natural characteristics. The comparisons were made on the basis of similarities in the natural characteristics of the movements, while at the same time discussing the dissimilarities. Criteria were set up for the comparative study of the effectiveness of each movement. These comprised seven subsidiary objectives which were sufficiently comprehensive and related to the ultimate or original objective to best approximate it when compJetely fulfilled. The ultimate or original objective of civil rights was the standard of measurement. The accomplishments of each movement were described and compared on the basis of the criteria. The period beginning in 1940, a little less than a year after the formal beginning of Negro Protest Revolutionary Antagonism, and ending in 1953 was chosen for the study, although consideration was taken for the length of the history of each movement. In the history of the effectiveness of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, no delimitations were made. For the comparison, each subsidiary objective composing the criteria was delimited to include only the period from 1940 to 1953. The more general results made it unnecessary to go into a detailed analysis of the comparative picture. The method of research was basically literary and documentary. No research had been done on the problem as defined, although research had been made on related problems. The basis of the test of the hypothesis was the comparative histories of the two movements. Since there was no objective means for determining the amount of reaction of the two movements upon each other, no attempt was made to utilize this in the comparison. C. Conclusions These movements were in nature quite similar. The similarities were not identical however. In other words, the natural characteristics of each movement which were similar varied in degree. These variations amounted to differences in the limitations on the characteristics in their function of working toward the ultimate objective. The natural characteristics were conditioned and partly determined by the methods, strategy, and procedures of each movement in endeavoring to reach its ultimate goal, civil rights. Negro Protest Action worked directly toward this goal. Feeling that civil rights could be gained within the existing social order and through its institutions, it geared its methods, strategy, and procedures to this end. Negro Protest Revolutionary Antagonism worked indirectly toward the goal. It believed that civil rights could only be realized in a socialistic system. The methods, strategy, and procedure of the movement were geared to efforts at establishing a form of socialistic state as a prerequisite to the gaining of civil rights. Comparatively, the nature of the movements were briefly as follows: Actionists (Negro Protest Actionists) were dynamic in the sense of putting forth continuous efforts to win full equality for Negroes as American citizens; Antagonists (Negro Protest Revolutionary Antagonists) were dynamic in the sense of working continuously to propagate a socialistic ideology and destroy the American system. Civil rights were concomitantly emphasized. Actionists were aggressive in the sense of organized self-assertion. They consistently asserted themselves as representatives of a well organized movement. Antagonists were aggressive in the sense of unorganized self-assertion, operating more often as individuals and rarely as representatives of one of the organized elements of their movement. Actionists agitated against anti-Negroism and for Negro rights. Antagonists agitated against America and concomitantly for Russia as well as Negro rights. Actionists were accommodative to American law and the American system. Antagonists were revolutionary to American law and the American system. Actionists sought publicity that was favorable to their or ganization, to its efforts for civil rights, and to the goal of civil rights. Antagonists sought publicity that was anti-American, pro-socialistic, and pro-Russian. Actionists worked in the political area through votes, lobbying and other forms of political activity. Antagonists were opposed to the political system and utilized only the Progressive Party. Actionists were directly racial and national in emphasis and concern. Yet, they were interested in international problems. Antagonists were directly international and indirectly racial in concern, although, in a sense, they also had a national concern. Actionists operated in accordance with American law. Antagonists respected American law only when it was expedient and necessary. The history of Negro Protest Action revealed that it had accomplished many t hings in the area of civil rights. No direct accomplishments in the area of civil rights were revealed in the history or Negro Protest Revolutionary Antagonism. The picture was as follows: In the area of lynching, Actionists have consistently and progressively formulated anti-lynching opinion. Antagonists have made no discernable contribution in this area. In the area of Constitutional rights, Actionists won the right of a hearing on filibuster in the Senate. Antagonists made no contribution. In the area o:f :franchise, Actionists won decisions against Texas White Democratic Primaries. Antagonists made no contributions in this area. In the area of education, the Actionists won equal salaries for Negro teachers, better facilities for Negro education, rights or Negroes to attend professional and graduate schools of the South. Antagonists have made no contributions in this area. In the area of economics, Actionists won a decision against segregated Boilermakers' Unions in Rhode Island. They also assisted in the establishment of the Fair Employment Practices Committee by the government. Antagonists made no contribution. In the area of public accommodations, Actionists contributed to the victory against segregation on the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, and thus outlawing segregation in interstate travel . Antagonists made no contribution in this area. In the area of the military (discrimination in the armed forces), Actionists caused the liquidation of the All-Negro TwentyFourth Division and segregation in the Far East Command. They also forced the defeat of the Winstead Amendment, which would have permitted inductees to serve in segregated units if they desired. Antagonists won thirty-one out of thirty-four cases carried before the United States Supreme Court in the interest of civil rights. The Antagonists carried no cases before the Supreme Court.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University Bibliography: p. 219-229. Copy 2 lacks port.