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The historical narrative of the Great Society in general, and the Community Action Program in particular, has largely reflected the events and experiences in large cities such as New York City, Philadelphia, and Chicago, ignoring smaller communities’ implementation of the 1964 Economic Opportunity Act (EOA). This article examines the struggle to develop Albany’s CAP and provides a greater understanding of city’s race relations during the early 1960s. I argue that the conflict over community action exacerbated race relations in Albany and contributes to the ongoing narrative about the significance of the War on Poverty in smaller urban areas. A study of Albany’s experience’s with the CAP suggests that the city and county government leaders went to extreme measures to resist outside interference, intimidate political opposition, and ignore the repeated call for involvement of the poor in the decision making process.


Publisher Acknowledgment

This is the Publisher’s PDF of the following article made available by the Afro-American Historical Association of the Niagara Frontier, Inc. © 2012: Keough, B. (2012). Politics as usual or political change: The war on poverty's community action program in Albany, N.Y., 1959-1967. Afro-Americans in New York Life and History 36 (2) 37-65.



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