The Selling of Civil Rights
The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Use of Public Relations
Published April 29th 2009 by Routledge – 200 pages
The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee formed in April 1960 to advance civil rights. With a tremendous human rights mission facing them, the founding SNCC members included communication and publicity as part of their initial purpose. This book provides a broad overview of these efforts from SNCC's birth in 1960 until the beginning of its demise in the late 1960s and examines the communication tools that SNCC leaders and members used to organize, launch, and carry out their campaign to promote civil rights throughout the 1960s. It specifically explores how SNCC workers used public relations to support and promote their platforms and to build a grassroots community movement; and how the organization later rejected these strategies for a radical and isolated approach.
1. 'Peaceful Petitions to the Conscience' 2. Freedom in the Air: Politics and Community 3. Freedom Summer 4. Black Power: Awakening Black Pride and Consciousness 5. Internal Relations, Vietnam Opposition, and Radicalization
Vanessa Murphree is Assistant Professor of Communication at the University of South Alabama, where she teaches public relations and advertising. Her research primarily focuses on the relationship between public relations and social change. She has published articles in Journalism History and American Journalism examining the civil rights movement and has also written about crisis communication and historical perspectives of public relationship.