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"To Redeem the Soul of America": Public Relations and The Civil Rights Movement

"To Redeem the Soul of America": Public Relations and The Civil Rights Movement The purpose of this research is to describe and analyze the public relations elements of the civil rights movement from 1955 to 1968. The focus is the communications strategies and programs of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), headed by Martin Luther King, Jr. A descriptive section outlines the situation that led to the Montgomery bus boycott, the birth of the SCLC, the goals of the SCLC, and the SCLC's public relations department. The SCLC's public relations strategies and programs are then analyzed by examining rhetorical communication, situational use of one- and two-way models of public relations, alliance building, political advocacy, consumer boycotts, and grassroots communication, including political and citizenship education, voter registration, and King's people to people tours. The author concludes that the SCLC's communication programs and strategies did help the organization achieve its basic goal of eradicating state-supported segregation and discrimination. However, the SCLC's ultimate mission—full equality for African Americans in all aspects of society—remains unaccomplished. Public relations is a very necessary part of any protest of civil disobedience.... The public at large must be aware of the inequities involved in such a system [of segregation]. In effect, in the absence of justice in the established courts of the region, nonviolent protesters are asking for a hearing in the court of world opinion. Martin Luther King, Jr. (quoted in Garrow, 1986, p. 172) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Public Relations Research Taylor & Francis

"To Redeem the Soul of America": Public Relations and The Civil Rights Movement

Journal of Public Relations Research , Volume 9 (3): 50 – Jul 1, 1997
50 pages

"To Redeem the Soul of America": Public Relations and The Civil Rights Movement

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to describe and analyze the public relations elements of the civil rights movement from 1955 to 1968. The focus is the communications strategies and programs of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), headed by Martin Luther King, Jr. A descriptive section outlines the situation that led to the Montgomery bus boycott, the birth of the SCLC, the goals of the SCLC, and the SCLC's public relations department. The SCLC's public relations...
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Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1532-754X
eISSN
1062-726X
DOI
10.1207/s1532754xjprr0903_01
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to describe and analyze the public relations elements of the civil rights movement from 1955 to 1968. The focus is the communications strategies and programs of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), headed by Martin Luther King, Jr. A descriptive section outlines the situation that led to the Montgomery bus boycott, the birth of the SCLC, the goals of the SCLC, and the SCLC's public relations department. The SCLC's public relations strategies and programs are then analyzed by examining rhetorical communication, situational use of one- and two-way models of public relations, alliance building, political advocacy, consumer boycotts, and grassroots communication, including political and citizenship education, voter registration, and King's people to people tours. The author concludes that the SCLC's communication programs and strategies did help the organization achieve its basic goal of eradicating state-supported segregation and discrimination. However, the SCLC's ultimate mission—full equality for African Americans in all aspects of society—remains unaccomplished. Public relations is a very necessary part of any protest of civil disobedience.... The public at large must be aware of the inequities involved in such a system [of segregation]. In effect, in the absence of justice in the established courts of the region, nonviolent protesters are asking for a hearing in the court of world opinion. Martin Luther King, Jr. (quoted in Garrow, 1986, p. 172)

Journal

Journal of Public Relations ResearchTaylor & Francis

Published: Jul 1, 1997

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