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Steven F. Lawson
Native name Steven Fred Lawson
Born (1945-06-14) June 14, 1945 (age 73)
New York City, New York
United States
Residence United States
Academic background
Alma mater City College of New York
(B.A. 1966)
Columbia University
(M.A. 1967) (Ph.D. 1974)
Thesis 'Give Us the Ballot : The Expansion of Black Voting Rights in the South, 1944-1969' (1974)
Doctoral advisor William Leuchtenburg
Academic work
Era 20th century
Institutions Rutgers University
Professor Emeritus of History
Main interests U.S. since 1945
Civil Rights Movement
African-American Politics
Political And Legal History
Notable works
  • Black Ballots (1976)
  • In Pursuit of Power (1985)
  • Running for Freedom (1991)
  • Debating the Civil Rights Movement (1998)

Steven Fred Lawson (born June 14, 1945) is a noted historian of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States.[1] Born in the Bronx, New York, he is the son of Ceil Parker Lawson, a housewife, and Murray Lawson, a retail hardware clerk.[citation needed] He had a sister, Lona Lawson Mirchin, who died in 2004.[citation needed] After teaching at various colleges and universities for forty years, he is now retired, works as an independent scholar, and shares a home in New Jersey with his wife Nancy A. Hewitt and their miniature poodle, Scooter (named after 1950s New York Yankees star and broadcaster Phil Rizzuto).[citation needed]

List of works[edit]


  • (2012) Exploring American Histories. Bedford/St. Martin’s Press. (with Nancy A. Hewitt)
  • (2009) One America in the Twenty-first Century: The Report of President Bill Clinton’s Initiative on Race. New Haven, Yale University Press
  • (2004) To Secure These Rights: President Harry S Truman’s Committee on Civil Rights Boston: Bedford-St. Martin’s.
  • (2003) Civil Rights Crossroads: Nation, Community, and the Black Freedom Struggle. University Press of Kentucky. 
  • (2003) Co-authors Darlene Clark Hine; Merline Pitre. Black Victory: The Rise and Fall of the White Primary in Texas. University of Missouri Press. 
  • (1998) Co-author Charles Payne. Debating the Civil Rights Movement, 1945-1968. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman- Littlefield. 
  • (1997) Running for Freedom: Civil Rights and Black Politics in America Since 1941 (Second ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. 
  • (1985) In Pursuit of Power: Southern Blacks and Electoral Politics, 1965–1982. New York: Columbia University Press. 
  • (1976) Black Ballots: Voting Rights in the South, 1944-1969 (Reprint with new preface ed.). Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books. 


  • "Preserving the Second Reconstruction: Enforcement of the Voting Rights Act, 1965-1975". Southern Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of the South. 22 (1). Spring 1983. 
  • "Freedom Then, Freedom Now: The Historiography of the Civil Rights Movement," American Historical Review, 96 (April 1991): 456- 71.
  • Race and Reapportionment, 1962: The Case of Georgia Senate Redistricting, Journal of Policy History, 12(Summer, 2000): 1-28(co-author with Peyton McCrary).



  1. ^ Danielle McGuire, ed. (2011). Freedom Rights: New Perspectives on the Civil Rights Movement. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 9780813134499. 

External links[edit]


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