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Courting Racial Justice

Harry Truman Outflanks the Southern Barons of Capitol Hill

by Robert Shogan

President Harry Truman is widely heralded for commanding the integration of the armed forces by executive order in 1948. Less recognized is Truman’s bold use of the Justice Department to support the civil rights of black Americans in a variety of significant cases, culminating in the Supreme Court’s famous Brown decision that outlawed school segregation. When Truman ascended to the presidency upon Franklin Roosevelt’s death, black leaders greeted him with skepticism and apprehension. They scarcely expected this undistinguished politician from Missouri to push a civil rights agenda. But Truman surprised them—and in the process confounded Southern Democrats in Congress. How he did it, and his effort’s lasting consequences, are told in this sharply observed account by Robert Shogan, from his forthcoming book.

Courting Racial Justice details:

ISBN: 978-1-937853-50-1

Words: 10,000

Pages: 22

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Tags:  Civil rights - African Americans - Harry Truman - justice department