How Myth-Busting About the Historical Goals of Civil Rights Activism Can Illuminate Future Paths

30 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2016

See all articles by Susan Carle

Susan Carle

American University Washington College of Law

Date Written: October 2011

Abstract

This Article considers four myths about the history of civil rights activism that have tended to cloud assessments about current civil rights law and its potential future directions. I argue that correcting those myths can help illuminate promising paths for the future. In each instance, alternative historical narratives reveal a rich record of experimentation with diverse ideas. This history suggests many alternative routes for further development of core principles of civil rights law, including further theoretical and practical work to pursue longstanding concepts of structural discrimination, the promise of experimentalist approaches to regulation and enforcement, increased interdisciplinary collaboration between law and other social science fields, and more focus on matters of economic inequality and other forms of inequitable resource distribution that have both class and race components. All of these reflect central but unfinished goals of the civil rights movement throughout its long history stretching back into the nineteenth century.

Keywords: civil rights, history

Suggested Citation

Carle, Susan D., How Myth-Busting About the Historical Goals of Civil Rights Activism Can Illuminate Future Paths (October 2011). 7 Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties 167, 2011.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2752469

Susan D. Carle (Contact Author)

American University Washington College of Law ( email )

4300 Nebraska Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States
202 274 4188 (Phone)
202 274 4130 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.wcl.american.edu/faculty/carle/

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