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News on the RightStudying Conservative News Cultures$
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Anthony Nadler and A.J. Bauer

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190913540

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190913540.001.0001

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National Review and the Changing Narrative of Civil Rights Memory 1968–2016

National Review and the Changing Narrative of Civil Rights Memory 1968–2016

(p.174) 10 National Review and the Changing Narrative of Civil Rights Memory 1968–2016
News on the Right

Robert Greene II

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyzes the National Review’s shifting narratives and historical memories of the contentious relationship between the modern conservative movement, Martin Luther King Jr., and the US civil rights movement. National Review writers largely opposed the civil rights movement up until the mid-1960s, casting Black freedom activists and their goals as threats to civilized order and the spirit of the US Constitution. Yet, the National Review would ultimately take on a leading role in reconsidering the conservative movement’s animosity toward King and civil rights—drawing parallels between conservative principles and civil rights claims, and even making fraught color-blind conservative claims to King’s legacy.

Keywords:   conservatism, conservative news, journalism history, National Review, civil rights, Martin Luther King Jr., historical memory, race, color-blind racism

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