Is the Way and Hard
One Hundred Years of the NAACP
Edited by Kevern Verney and Lee Sartain
Foreword by Adam Fairclough
This groundbreaking collection
looks at the NAACP at all levels
essays in Long is the Way and Hard represent some
of the best of the emerging scholarship on the NAACP. Indeed,
[it] is an important addition to the scholarship on the NAACP
and should be of interest to historians and scholars of African
American politics for years to come."
—Thomas L. Bynum, The Journal of African American
History, Summer 2011
as a whole, this volume contributes significantly to our understanding
of the NAACP's history. It will surely serve as a springboard
for numerous additions to the literature on the United States'
oldest and most influential civil rights organization."
—Journal of Southern History, November 2011
Celebrating its one-hundredth anniversary in February 2009,
the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
(NAACP) has been the leading and best-known African American
civil rights organization in the United States. It has played
a major, and at times decisive, role in most of the important
developments in the twentieth century civil rights struggle.
Drawing on original and previously unpublished scholarship
from leading researchers in the United States, Britain, and
Europe, this important collection of sixteen original essays
offers new and invaluable insights into the work and achievements
of the association.
The first part of the book offers challenging reappraisals
of two of the NAACP’s best-known national spokespersons,
Walter White and Roy Wilkins. Other essays analyze the association’s
cultural initiatives and the key role played by its public-relations
campaigns in the mid 1950s to counter segregationist propaganda
and win over the hearts and minds of American public opinion
in the wake of the NAACP’s landmark legal victory in
Brown v. Board of Education. Others provide thought-provoking
accounts of the association’s complex and difficult
relationship with Martin Luther King, the post–World
War II Civil Rights movement, and Black Power radicals of
The second part of the collection focuses on the work of the
NAACP at state, city, and local levels, examining its grassroots
organization throughout the nation from Chicago, Cleveland,
and Detroit in the North, to California in the West, as well
as states across the South including Virginia, Arkansas, Alabama,
Louisiana, and Texas. Providing detailed and fascinating information
on hitherto little explored aspects of the association’s
work, these studies complement the previous essays by demonstrating
the impact national initiatives had on local activists and
analyzing the often-strained relations between the NAACP national
office in New York and its regional branches.
Kevern Verney is associate head of the Department
of English and History at Edge Hill University, England, and
the author of The Debate on Black Civil Rights in America.
Lee Sartain is senior lecturer in American
studies at the University of Portsmouth, England, and the
author of Invisible Activists.
Adam Fairclough is the Raymond and Beverly
Sackler Professor of American History at Leiden University
and the author of many books, including To Redeem the
Soul of America and Better Day Coming.
6 x 9, 330 pages, index
$29.95 (s) paper
ISBN 978-1-55728-909-4 | 1-55728-909-3
$70.00 (s) unjacketed cloth
ISBN 978-1-55728-908-7 | 1-55728-908-5