Year of Publication

2013

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

History

First Advisor

Dr. Tracy A. Campbell

Abstract

Instruments of Righteousness investigates the class-, race-, and gender-based identities and intersections of women and men in the Black Power movement and their various organizing activities to gain certain and defined concessions from federal, state, and local governments. It argues that the intersections of Black Power and anti-Vietnam War activism created changing definitions of black masculinity and femininity, expressed through anti-draft and anti-war work. Black Power and anti-war activism cannot and should not be investigated separate from one another. The experiences of Black Power soldiers, antiwar members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Black Panther Party, and the Third World Women’s Alliance, and exiled black Americans highlight the ways the anti-Vietnam War and Black Power activism depended on each other for rhetorical, theoretical, and personnel needs. Additionally, it explores the ways that Black Power organizations articulated “Third World” mentalities in their anti-war battles. By espousing a shared identity with people of color throughout the world, Black Power organizations placed themselves in a transnational conversation among radical, decolonizing nation-states. Black Power’s advocates’ roles as non-governmental actors in the Third World strengthened ties with and presented new images of United States citizens throughout the decolonizing world.

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