After the Dream - Transcript - After the Dream

After the Dream - Transcript - After the Dream


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Welcome to After the Dream, which examines the social, economic, and political implications of events in America’s South following the civil rights movement of the mid 1960s, and the ongoing struggle for black equality.

In part 1, Professor Timothy Minchin and Professor Emeritus John Salmond will discuss their motivation for writing their book ‘After the Dream’. We’ll start with Professor Minchin.

Professor Timothy Minchin:

Up to 1965, the civil rights movement had really concentrated on two main goals, which were to overcome the Jim Crow system of segregation which existed across the Southern states and to gain voting rights for African Americans, again, particularly in the Southern states where a lot of different techniques were used by local authorities to prevent Americans from voting.

We felt that the period after 1965 was one that deserved more attention, because in 1964 and 1965 the Federal Congress passed legislation in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 addressed those two goals that the civil rights movement had been trying to achieve for decades prior to 1965. The civil rights act abolished discrimination in public accommodation, abolished the Jim Crow system. And the voting rights act provided much stronger guarantees of the black right to vote in the Southern states. So our idea was to write a book together that looked at the implementation of that legislation, in the decades after 1965.

Professor John Salmond

I had been at graduate school in the American South at Duke University in North Karolina throughout the early 1960s, just as the civil rights movement was quickening. It was hard, of course, not to be touched by it and not to get involved in certain ways, and in particular, not to be influenced by the iconic figure that Martin Luther King was becoming. I was lucky enough on August 28th 1963 to be at the march in Washington at the Lincoln Memorial when King spoke so soaringly about his dream. It really had a profound affect on him which stayed with me throughout my working life.

I was always interested in the civil rights movement and in fact had written a smallish book on the movement, for uses at undergraduate levels in the United States. Tim had also written on aspects of the implementation of the Civil Rights Act, particularly in areas of employment. It seemed to us that it was a good fit that we could come together. It covers a half century of history. The first fifteen years in considerable detail, and then from 1980 in rather more broad outline. So essentially it is a study of the implementation of the civil rights legislation and what it means today, how it has changed the American south. We did stick to the American south unlike many studies which range over the nation, we decided that as this legislation was geared specifically to the south that’s where the focus of our study would be, and that’s where it is. And so it concludes with a large chapter on what’s changed, and what remains the same.

And that was Professor John Salmond. The book they co-authored is called ‘After the Dream: Black and White Southerners since 1965’. It is published by the University of Kentucky Press and is available from all good book stores. Listen in next week , when Tim and John will discuss the civil rights movement in more detail. If you have any questions, comments, or feedback, you can send us an email at