Extremism in the Civil Rights Era

10/28/11 Atecia Robinson
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The civil rights era was at its peak from 1955 to 1968 and during this time many events occurred that continue to affect citizens world wide. WMNF’s Atecia Robinson reports from the Tampa Bay History Center, where Clive Webb presented his ideas on this era through his book Rabble Rousers: The American Far Right in the Civil Rights Era.

In a small classroom filled with 16 people Clive Webb, a professor at the University of Sussex in England, said the book still applies to politics and culture in the twenty-first century South.

Webb grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood in Britain which is why the civil rights era interested him. He said he was inspired by a topic that wasn’t often written about.

Rabble Rousers tells the story of five far right activists; Bryant Bowles, John Kasper, Major General Edwin Walker, J. B Stoner and Rear Admiral John Crommelin who led grassroots rebellions. Webb said John Kasper is the most interesting.

Webb said having an African American president such as Barack Obama was a sign that things will continue to change, but it was a shame that some right-wing citizens did not appreciate him.

Andy Hughes, a faculty member at the [University of South Florida](http://www.usf.edu/index.aspx, said based on his experiences racial tensions haven’t disappeared.

Afterward, Mark Greenberg, a USF Tampa librarian, said he would recommend Webb’s book.

Webb said he was unsure about the type of audience he would meet, but he would have liked to have a more diverse audience, which was entirely white.

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