The Civil Rights Movement that emerged in the United States after World War Two was a reaction against centuries of racial discrimination. In this sweeping history of Civil Rights in Atlanta from the 1940s through 1980 - which won both the 2012 Bancroft Prize and the 2012 Liberty Legacy Prizefrom the Organization of American Historians - Tomiko Brown-Nagin details the many varieties of activists and activism within the movement. Long before "black power" emerged and gave black dissent from the mainstream civil rights agenda a new name, African Americans in Atlanta intensely debated themeaning of equality and the steps necessary to obtain social and economic justice.This groundbreaking book uncovers the activism of visionaries - both well-known legal figures and unsung citizens - from across the ideological spectrum who sought something different from, or more complicated than, "integration." Local activists often played leading roles in carrying out theintegrationist agenda of the NAACP, but some also pursued goals that differed markedly from those of the venerable civil rights organization. Brown-Nagin moves from debates over political tactics, housing, public accommodations, and schools to the bruising battle over school desegregation in the1970s. That contest, which featured opposing camps of African Americans, had its roots in the pre Brown v. Board of Education era.Exploring the complex interplay between the local and national, between lawyers and communities, between elites and grassroots, and between middle-class and working-class African Americans, Courage to Dissent tells gripping stories about the long struggle for equality that speak to the nation'songoing racial divisions. Remarkably authoritative, it will transform our understanding of the Civil Rights era.