Pete Daniel is Curator in the Division of the History of Technology at the National Museum of American History, and is author of Lost Revolutions: The South in the 1950s.
There were missed opportunities for an earlier and faster-paced civil rights revolution in the American South. They came in the form of possibilities inherent in the rich vein of "Lowdown" or blue-collar Southern culture. That the possibilities were ignored or repressed owes much to the promotion of a regional philosophy of the "lost cause." This in turn fed into a deeply sexualized fear of Black equality. So the pain endured and the chance was lost. Author Pete Daniel explains why.