Reverend Theodore Judson Jemison: The Man Who Revolutionized the Civil Rights Movement
CitationRoberts, Terri. 2020. Reverend Theodore Judson Jemison: The Man Who Revolutionized the Civil Rights Movement. Master's thesis, Harvard Extension School.
AbstractThe Civil Rights Movement is arguably one of America’s most defining periods. It was the true start of the establishment not just of legal equality, but moral equality between the African American and Caucasian communities. Many scholars start their works with famous civil rights activists such as Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., or Malcolm X. However, few realize that before any of them took their first steps toward fighting inequality in 1955, two years earlier a man who later inspired many activists was getting to work. Reverend Theodore Jemison led the first ever bus boycott in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 1953. The goal of this study is to demonstrate that examining this lesser-known activist opens up new avenues of inquiry into religious legacies, economics, education, and social capital. Doing so will shine light on the central influences of all civil rights leaders during the 1950s and into the 1960s. Note that quotations from individuals’ oral and written testimonies from during the bus boycott or statements made after have not been altered from their original wording. This means there are terminological and grammatical issues within someone of the statements. However, I felt as scholar it would be unethical to polish their language into more formal English. Their word choices and language are representative of their era and location.
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