African Americans and the First Amendment: The Case for Liberty and Equality

SUNY Press
Free sample

The first detailed examination of African Americans and First Amendment rights, from the colonial era to the present.


African Americans and the First Amendment is the first book to explore in detail the relationship between African Americans and our “first freedoms,” especially freedom of speech. Timothy C. Shiell utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to demonstrate that a strong commitment to civil liberty and to racial equality are mutually supportive, as they share an opposition to orthodoxy and a commitment to greater inclusion and participation. This crucial connection is evidenced throughout US history, from the days of colonial and antebellum slavery to Jim Crow: in the landmark US Supreme Court decision in 1937 freeing the black communist Angelo Herndon; in the struggles and victories of the civil rights movement, from the late 1930s to the late ’60s; and in the historical and modern debates over hate speech restrictions. Liberty and equality can conflict in individual cases, Shiell argues, but there is no fundamental conflict between them. Robust First Amendment values protect and encourage demands for racial equality while weak First Amendment values, in contrast, lead to censorship and a chilling of demands for racial equality.


“A splendid book on all accounts, and a necessary one in today’s heated debate over free speech.” — Donald Alexander Downs, author of Restoring Free Speech and Liberty on Campus

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About the author

Timothy C. Shiell is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin–Stout. His books include Campus Hate Speech on Trial: Second Edition, Revised and Legal Philosophy: Selected Readings.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Sep 1, 2019
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Pages
224
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ISBN
9781438475837
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Ethnic Studies / African American Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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