The United States in the Twentieth Century

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The United States in the Twentieth Century Part Three: 10 "Kennedy Liberalism" By David Burner and Thomas R. West (Pp. 120-133) 1. Among African Americans, however ,the reputations of the Kennedy brothers remained intact. During the presidential campaign of 1960 and the brief three years of the Kennedy administration, the Kennedy's paid more than just lip service to the issue of civil rights. Their work on behalf of civil rights was probably due to political considerations more that genuine passion, but most African Americans did not quibble about details. During the election campaign of 1960, when Martin Luther King Jr. Found himself locked up in a southern jail, the Kennedy's intervened and saw to his release. They appointed prominent blacks to administrative positions, invited African-American leaders to the White House for social occasions and policy discussion, and introduced 2what became the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to Congress. It was not uncommon to see pictures of the Kennedy's in the homes of African Americans, and when both of them were assassinated in the 1960's, no Americans mourned their deaths more deeply and genuinely than black people. 2. Television brought the civil rights movement before the public, and without it the 1960s would be unimaginable. That medium is faulted today for replacing the most subtle, analytical, and elegant means of conversation, the written world. 3. Kennedy's family benefited from the medium of television because they where just the right family. They where beautiful, will mannered, well favored. TV allowed Kennedy to be so visible to the public as a whole that he seemed to be outside the party structures and the back room maneuverings that his people managed so well 4. Photojournalism, along with photography was another visual medium of Kennedy's time. Both of these older mediums in general, can be at once brief and analytical; it can study the exact placement of individuals in a crowd, the look on a black child's face, the twist of hatred on the face of a white woman. Photojournalism, like television, cannot look into the ambiguities that the word can triumph, or larger cultural events that express themselves flamboyantly. 5. The opponents of the civil rights movement, in their very fear that the president favored the rights cause, contributed to defining him as the embodiment of a liberalism that would go beyond the established New Deal programs.
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