Covering a Protest, Rallying a People: Editor Emory O. Jackson and the Birmingham Bus Boycott
Nevertheless, Jackson remains an understudied figure of the tumultuous Civil Rights Movement, and the scant mention of him in books and articles (popular and academic) underscores this gap. The World has similarly been overlooked, even though Jackson used it as a mouthpiece to rally his community and decry racism.
This study will examine Jackson’s coverage of the Birmingham Bus Boycott, the little-known protest that began soon after the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. declared the Montgomery boycott over. Jackson’s reportage is important because it created a historical timeline of events that served as both a narrative of local activism and a counternarrative to stereotypical stories in the local white papers. Moreover, Jackson’s reporting offers a more complete picture of the day-to-day, often violent struggle for civil rights in Birmingham after the radio and television crews had left the city. This research will contribute to Southern studies, the history of the Civil Rights Movement, African American studies, and other related disciplines.
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