James Farmer Jr.: The Great Debater provides a rhetorical and biographical guide to how the American Civil Rights Movement came into being. It details James Farmer Jr.’s intellectual emergence as a young debater at an HBCU in Marshall, Texas and ultimately chronicles how this led to the emergence of the first non-violent sit-in against segregation in 1942 in Chicago. Farmer was a key founder of the Congress of Racial Equality [CORE] that pioneered the non-violent strategies that would later be used by Martin Luther King. He debated important figures like Malcolm X to provide a powerful advocacy grounded in the praxis of argumentation. Ben Voth demonstrates the ongoing relevance of Farmer’s successful debate methodology in resolving contemporary race problems in the 21st century such as Black Lives Matter.
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About the Author
Ben Voth is associate professor of corporate communications and public affairs and director of debate at Southern Methodist University.
Table of ContentsContents
Introduction Why James Farmer Jr. Matters Today
Chapter 1. The Family of James Farmer Jr.
Chapter 2. James Farmer Jr. at Wiley College1934-1938
Chapter 3. The Debate Coach: Melvin Tolson
Chapter 4. From Minister to Advocate Against Segregation
Chapter 5. The first Sit-in Jack Spratt in 1942
Chapter 6. The Freedom Rides 1961
Chapter 7. The MOW 1963 and Freedom Summer 1964
Chapter 8. Malcolm X and James Farmer Jr.
Chapter 9. Republican for Congress and the Nixon Years
Chapter 10. James Farmer and the Matter of Black Lives Today
Chapter 11. The implications of Farmer Today
Appendix Malcolm X debates James Farmer Jr. at Cornell
About the Author