Date of Award

Spring 1969

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science


The purpose of this study was to examine the civil rights phenomena in the context of the Negro riots during the years 1963-1968. The inadequacies of this study are in part due to the material upon which it is based. The reports of the state study commissions did not deal with racism adequately, or the probability of implementation of various recommendations. Consequently, this paper could not treat these topics except perfunctorily. In turn, it was difficult to assess the practicality of various proposal since the extent of these variables was unknown. The failure of thee Kerner Commission report to outline a program of attitude modification to combat white racism also limited the scope of this paper. Finally, there is not a single source which treats the riot years in its entirety, hence the statistics utilized ware often based on those compiled by such magazines as Newsweek and Time. One must accept on face value their findings. With this in mind, this study in terms of its purposes and conclusions can be more accurately assessed.

The purpose of this paper is to provide a brief look at the riot years 1963 to April, 1968. The riots following the death of Martin Luther King were deemed a suitable cut­ off point for the study. The riots included were chosen either because of their size and intensity, or because of their geographic location. Hence, not every riot which occurred during this period is mentioned. There is also a statistical breakdown of the major riots included in this study. The hypothesis ls that attitude modification is an important prerequisite for the eradication of racism in America, but it has been given insufficient consideration by various study commissions.