For radicals, it is good news. The civil rights movement is undergoing a change; the grit of protest is becoming a political pearl, as predicted by those who see the movement as a potential catalyst for broad social change. CORE has set up a political action department. Martin Luther King has announced plans for demonstrations in Alabama and Mississippi “based around the right to vote.” Roy Wilkins has declared, “What we [the NAACP] are looking for now is political activity, flexibility.” Bayard Rustin has pointed to a “tremendous power in the Negro community that can be used politically, though it can’t be used exclusively. It must be joined with others determined to wipe out poverty.” A. Philip Randolph has called for a “coalition of conscience” of civil rights, church and labor organizations. “The Negro,” declared Randolph, “has developed a new sense of his political power. He must use that power as does labor—to defeat his enemies and elect the friends of justice.”
This almost universal response on the part of the established Negro leadership has been evoked by the powerful Negro political thrust in last fall’s elections. Voter regi...
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