A Clear Channel: Circulating Resistance in a Rural University Town

Shannon Carter

Abstract


An extended treatment of two social justice efforts in a rural university town-- both initiated by African American students (one in 1967 and another in 1973)--as historical examples of civic engagement with contemporary implications for Writing Democracy and similar projects. As a student at this local college John Carlos, the sprinter best known for his heroic, silent protest against racism with Tommie Smith at the 1968 Olympics, found his local attempts to mobilize the community against ongoing racism to be relatively unsuccessful. Five years later students established the Norris Community Club (NCC) in partnership with residents of Norris, the historically segregated neighborhood, to provide what they called “a clear channel of communication” between Norris and city officials. This later attempt yielded far more significant community changes. Uses “a clear channel” as both the object of study and interpretive lens to examine these local efforts and their many implications for today. 


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