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NASA and the Long Civil Rights Movement$
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Brian C. Odom and Stephen P. Waring

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780813066202

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813066202.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 14 July 2020

Bringing the Moon to Mankind

Bringing the Moon to Mankind

The Civil Rights Narrative and the Space Age

(p.44) 3 Bringing the Moon to Mankind
NASA and the Long Civil Rights Movement

David Miguel Molina

P. J. Blount

University Press of Florida

In chapter 3, Molina and Blount offer a contextualization of NASA’s interlocutory role throughout the long civil rights movement by mobilizing these three themes to analyze a series of archival and cultural artifacts. The authors first analyze the rhetoric deployed by the Poor People Campaign’s various mobilizations to show that the American space program was viewed with deep skepticism by the African American community and particularly within the context of ongoing struggles for black freedom. Second, they discuss the “distance” between the tropes of spatial disenfranchisement represented in the civil rights movement and the Moon missions to show how space exploration was portrayed as an acceleration of the marginalization of black spaces.

Keywords:   Poor People’s Campaign, rhetoric, civil rights movement, spatial disenfranchisement, Apollo, NASA

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