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Ebony Magazine and Lerone Bennett Jr.Popular Black History in Postwar America$
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E. James West

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780252043116

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252043116.001.0001

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We Can Seize the Opportunity

We Can Seize the Opportunity

(p.91) Chapter 5 We Can Seize the Opportunity
Ebony Magazine and Lerone Bennett Jr.

E. James West

University of Illinois Press

This chapter charts Ebony’s initial response to the ‘mainstreaming’ of black history in American popular and political culture during the 1970s, focused around the magazine’s discussion of, and engagement with, the American Bicentennial in 1976. As a whole, Ebony’s coverage of the Bicentennial reflected a shift away from a more activist-oriented depiction of black history and an embrace of less political and more commemorative editorial perspective. Yet even as this shift occurred, Bennett pushed for a rejection of the Bicentennial as an ‘affront to truth and freedom.’

Keywords:   Bicentennial, Class Politics, Black Community, Ebony, Black History, Black Press, Popular Memory

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