Hello! Thanks for coming by. Pull up a chair. Pretzels? As a Wikipedia editor since mid-2007 I've added to 1960s Civil Rights Movement pages, various listsand indexes, juggled with American founding father templates (see below) and your odd science/space/Stone Age art/baseball edits, and carelessly tossed a handful of words into a few suffragist articles, 1960s pages, and other odds and ends. A few italic runs and linked-page distributions of lists and templates have somehow occurred in between fits of popcorn.
Notes on work with James Bevel's 1960s Civil Rights Movement history
A long time ago, while still eating meat and walking around dehydrated and Vitamin-Cdeficient, I may have snuck onto the top tier of 1960s Civil Rights Movement historians, a fairly small stuffy room inhabited by David Garrow (a nice fellow), Taylor Branch, Adam Fairclough, and one or two others. Garrow and Branch are among the few people who know I might be riding and/or making the coffee on that tier. Except for fully promoting my early findings during a political campaign as James Bevel's unpaid press secretary (a sure loser in a heavily party-controlled district) after explaining to him that I'd take the position, without any hope of him winning, under the agreement that I'd work mainly, if not solely, on independently researching his history with himself and others, I've never gone full boar on promoting it. I've heard that truth gets you there eventually, so I give my semi-wild moments over to eating, reading, writing, watching, helping out family, and obtaining wealth (a wealth of knowledge!...until my ship comes in).
Look! An emu!
Yet since 2007 my cited James Bevel research has been included in Bevel's article, on various Wikipedia talk pages, and on or under other scandalous internet outcroppings. Nobody has ever disputed a major point on Bevel's role in history in the article, nor has anyone cited sources which contradict it. James Bevel simply did all of the things in the 1960s movements that he gets credit for on the page. I edit only the '60's data on his page, and have very seldom if ever edited the material on his strange LaRouche period, his incest conviction, or anything besides his 1960s Civil Rights Movement history and a bit on his role in the 1995 Day of Atonement/Million Man March.
Back in the bygone days of lore, 2005, Middlebury College published one of my papers. That paper echoed and added to quite a few earlier writings, including a 1984 research paper reprinted, with a new addendum, in the 1989 book We Shall Overcome, Volume II edited by David Garrow. The only fact privately or academically questioned in these publications concerns an event not used in the Wikipedia article. Historian James Ralph disputed Bevel's version of the agreement which ended the 1966 Chicago Open Housing Movement (see the 2005 paper). Since Bevel initiated and ran SCLC's Open Housing Movement, as he did all of their major movement actions starting with the 1963 Birmingham Children's Crusade, I counted that he, the Open Housing Movement's director, remembered how he agreed to end it (an interesting story which he repeated over the years without much variation). That one point aside - and I still stand by it - if the rest of the Bevel information accurately reflects the events of the era it means that a very nice thing has emerged for new Civil Rights Movement historians, either established, just in-or-out of university, or seeking an academic specialty: a large historical field which could use more picking and mining.
Research I haven't done includes James Bevel related interviews with Dorothy Cotton, James Meredith, Bob Moses, and a few other key people from the '60s movements. Those need doing, and hopefully done well and honestly, with direct questions and with a stated goal of ascertaining the facts about James Bevel's role in the events of the era. I also haven't interviewed the law enforcement side of the Selma and Birmingham Movements, and suggest that as long as any police personnel or Alabama State Troopers who manned the Birmingham or Selma frontlines still walk the earth, first hose them down and then interview them (this last may have been done already, I have no idea if it has or hasn't). Aside from any new Bevel and King material, those interviews should uncover new information and points of view on the era's historical events and perspectives.
Tools that an established or student historian may find useful would include the Bevel audio and video tapes in the hands of a wide variety of relatives, friends, pedestrians, and organizations. I don't know how many hundreds of hours of tapes exist, but quite a few in various locations. An inventory of those materials doesn't exist, which opens up another task for interested researchers. Going through those tapes and videos would dig up many nuggets on '60s movement history, and ther'be lots of gold left in dem dere hills.
Another avenue: No one has fully - or in most cases even partially - interviewed Rev. Bevel's relatives, his movement students from the '60s, or his post-movement associates, friends, and students, all available areas of inquiry.
Overall, James Bevel's place in history, and his observations about the late-1950s and '60s movement years, surely deserve further full research projects. The available and potential information includes a wide field with plenty of artifacts, and further sets of data on Bevel's work will enhance the accumulated information on every major 1960s Civil Rights and Anti-War Movement event.
Well, time to edit! If you haven't joined and shared your expertise, interests, or spare-time and/or space-time curiosities with Wikipedia, be assured that it ably fulfills its intended purpose as a good and accurate place to share knowledge - knowledge which you consider interesting, fun, and important to chronicle in any field of endeavor. Knowledge that you can back up with sources and data in a neutral voice, like a robot.
Since you've hung around this long - lentils and rice? - some recommendations. Have you seen Aaron Sorkin's 25-episode television series The Newsroom at least twice, or watched Anne Hathaway's 18-minutes of time inLes Miserables- some of it frame-by-frame - possibly the best performance of her generation)? If not, good goddess, what are you waiting for! One more recommendation, a link to a site which covers the prehistory-and-history of human development and communication via articles, summaries, links, interactive maps, and things you won't believe until you start to site-surf, all put together and continually expanded and tweaked by one person: Jeremy Norman, a rare book dealer in Illinois (kind of like an internet focused Illinois Jones). Think of packing a lunch and a dinner before starting to navigate Norman's Historyofinformation.com.
Here are some maps I've thrown together or added to - templates remind me of maps, a one-stop visual. These maps hopefully contain links to all of the important and/or interesting Wikipedia articles on their subjects, articles which hundreds, and in many cases, thousands, of Wikipedians have researched and written: