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The Spirit and the Shotgun – Armed Resistance and the Struggle for Civil Rights - Florida Scholarship Online
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The Spirit and the Shotgun: Armed Resistance and the Struggle for Civil Rights

Simon Wendt


This book explores the role of armed self-defense in tandem with nonviolent protests in the African American freedom struggle of the 1950s and 1960s. Confronted with violent attacks by the Ku Klux Klan and other racist terrorists, southern blacks adopted Martin Luther King’s philosophy of nonviolent resistance as a tactic, but at the same time armed themselves out of necessity and pride. Sophisticated self-defense units patrolled black neighborhoods, guarded the homes of movement leaders, rescued activists from harm, and occasionally traded shots with their white attackers. These patrols enhan ... More

Keywords: armed self-defense, nonviolent protest, African American freedom struggle, nonviolent resistance, civil rights movement, Malcolm X, Black Panther Party, armed resistance, peaceful protest

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2007 Print ISBN-13: 9780813030180
Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2013 DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813030180.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Simon Wendt, author
University of Frankfurt