Ballots and Bullets; Black Power Politics and Urban Guerrilla Warfare in 1968 Cleveland.

Author:Morris, Kristine
Position::Brief article - Book review
 
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James Robenalt; BALLOTS AND BULLETS; Chicago Review Press (Nonfiction: History) 27.99 ISBN: 9780897337038

Byline: Kristine Morris

As recalled in Ballots and Bullets, July 5, 1968, was a night of terror in Cleveland, Ohio. Six people were killed and at least fifteen wounded as police battled black nationalists in the beginning of days of fierce rioting. The cause is still shrouded in mystery.

James Robenalt exposes the roots of the violence in Cleveland, the first major American city to elect a black man as mayor, and one prominent in the civil rights movement. Cleveland hosted Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, standing for Christian faith, nonviolence, and integration, in 1963, as well as Malcolm X and his black Muslims, who advocated for racial separation and being armed, in 1964.

The book asks some hard questions, foremost among them that of why, fifty years later, the racial divide and the neglect of inner cities is still as bad, or worse, than it was in 1968? And why does police brutality, including the murder of unarmed black citizens, go unpunished?

"Racism in America has its own...

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