We join a movement in progress: a review of Cynthia Griggs Fleming's "Yes We Did?'

Historians in the News

If Barack Obama's 2008 election is history's answer to Martin Luther King's 46-year-old "I Have a Dream" speech, then African Americans must be on the cusp of . . . what, exactly? In "Yes We Did?" historian Cynthia Griggs Fleming offers an academic overview of the civil rights movement's triumphant past and uncertain future.

Drawing on interviews with prominent black leaders -- including former Senator Carol Moseley Braun, Freedom marcher and Georgia Congressman John Lewis and Washington's own Eleanor Holmes Norton -- Griggs aims for an oral history in which "the black leaders' voices are not circumscribed by the analysis; instead, their voices shape the analysis."

But that nod to objectivity is half-hearted. Griggs takes a dim view of the hip-hop generation and basks in 1960s nostalgia instead of mulling over the controversial work of Cornel West or Todd Boyd, the self-styled "Notorious Ph.D.," who has argued that the civil rights movement is dead...

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