King of the Cats

King of the Cats

The Life and Times of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr

Book - 1993
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Baker & Taylor
A biography of the important African-American figure discusses Powell's childhood in Harlem, his years as a minister, his tenure in politics, his personal life, his crusades against poverty and racism, and his eventual downfall. 40,000 first printing.

Blackwell North Amer
Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., was one of the most brilliant, charismatic, and controversial politicians of this century - and one of the most productive legislators in American history. This vivid and penetrating biography by Wil Haygood, whom Ward Just has praised as "perhaps America's best young reporter," evokes the physical, political, and racial reality of both Powell's life and the civil rights struggle of the twentieth century.
The grandson of a slave, Powell utilized his father's pulpit in Harlem's Abyssinian Baptist Church to raise up the poor and disadvantaged during the Great Depression. After marrying a showgirl, starting his own newspaper, and successfully running for city council, he was elected as the first black congressman from Harlem, a seat he held without serious opposition for thirty-odd years. He took his second wife, the jazz pianist Hazel Scott, with him to Washington, where he was a tireless crusader for racial equality, a thorn in the side of his timid colleagues, and an embarrassment to four presidents on the issue of fair employment. Though Powell jumped the Democratic fence in 1956 because of Adlai Stevenson's racial indecisiveness and appointed himself unofficial ambassador to the Bandung conference, he finally assumed real power under Lyndon Johnson. As the chairman of the Education and Labor Committee of the House, the black representative helped the white president push through that mass of laws which Johnson called the War on Poverty.
At the same time, Powell's influence was being eroded by his flamboyant private life and by his reckless disregard for congressional proprieties. His pleasurable rambles around the world, compounded by headline-making lawsuits, cost him his seat in Congress. Though his faithful Harlemites reelected him, he was not reseated until the Supreme Court backed him, in Earl Warren's last decision. Stripped of seniority, Powell toured the country to advocate black power and lolled on his yacht in the Bahamas until he was finally defeated in the 1970 primary election.
This energetic narrative paints Powell as a hero to his people and a standard-bearer for social equality. While others may have done more to change our attitudes toward race, Powell did more than any other black leader to change the way we live. Having succored hundreds of thousands, he died in utter loneliness in 1972.

Baker
& Taylor

Discusses Powell's childhood in Harlem, his tenure in politics, and his crusades against poverty and racism

Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1993
ISBN: 9780395440940
0395440947
Branch Call Number: 973.9209 HAYGO
Characteristics: xvi, 476 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Notes: "A Peter Davison book."

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