March to a Promised Land, is thorough, but a bit dull. However, I found this quote rather intriguing:
Until the middle of the twentieth century, relatively few blacks voted. Some blacks had voted in the segregated states for years without incident or protest . . . The Republican Party, seeking a way through the solid white Democratic wall in the South, had some success in the early to middle part of the century attracting blacks. But the political control in the South was not in the Republican camp at that time. It was a white Democratic South. (87)
Who knew? I have always heard the civil rights movement framed as progressive Democrats versus Republicans. Yet, without the support of Republicans, the Civil Rights act of 1964 would not have passed. "The opposition was led by Southern Democrats who had dominated Senate leadership for many years" (124). On what basis does the Democratic take sole credit for championing the civil rights movement in politics.
By the way, Alabama Governor George Wallace, famous for proclaiming "Segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!" was a Democrat. I had never heard that about him before.