Gordon Mantler

Gordon Mantler
Affiliated Faculty, Associate Professor; Executive Director of the University Writing Program
Ames Hall 205
2100 Foxhall Road NW
Washington, District Of Columbia 20007
[email protected]

Gordon Mantler specializes in the history and rhetoric of 20th century social justice movements and the African American and Latino experience in the United States, as well as oral history and the history of film. His first book, Power to the Poor: Black-Brown Coalition and the Fight for Economic Justice, 1960-1974, was published in 2013 as the inaugural volume in the Justice, Power, and Politics series at the University of North Carolina Press. It uses the Poor People’s Campaign to analyze the interdependent relationship between racial identity and political coalition among African Americans and Mexican Americans during the larger freedom struggle. He has received numerous awards, including the first annual Ronald T. and Gayla D. Farrar Media and Civil Rights History Award for the best article on the subject. His current book project focuses on Chicago in the 1970s and 1980s, and the multiracial coalition that made Harold Washington the city’s first black mayor in 1983.


Ph.D., Duke University, 2008


"'Organize the People': The 1975 City Council Races in Multiracial Chicago,” Journal of Civil and Human Rights 3:2 (Fall/Winter 2017)

"Is It Time for the Kneeling Freedman Statue to Go?" in #Charlottesville: Before and Beyond, ed. Chris Howard-Woods, Colin Laidley, and Maryam Omidi (New York: New School for Social Research, 2018)

"12 Years a Slave as a Bridge to Primary Source Research," Prompt: A Journal of Academic Writing Assignments 1:1 (2017): 29-34 (http://thepromptjournal.com/index.php/prompt)

"Rainbow Reformers: Black-Brown Activism and the Election of Harold Washington," in Civil Rights and Beyond: African American Activism and Latino/a Activism in the Twentieth-Century United States, ed. Brian Behnken (University of Georgia Press, 2016)

Power to the Poor: Black-Brown Coalition and the Fight for Economic Justice, 1960-1974 (University of North Carolina Press, 2013 cloth; 2015 paperback)

"Black, Brown, and Poor: Civil Rights and the Making of the Chicano Movement," in The Struggle in Black and Brown: African American/Mexican American Race Relations During the Civil Rights Era, ed. Brian Behnken (University of Nebraska Press, 2012)

"King’s Assassination Provided a Window of Opportunity for the Poor People’s Campaign," in Perspectives on Modern World History: The Martin Luther King Jr. Assassination, ed. Noah Berlatsky (Greenhaven Press, 2011), 111-122

"'The Press Did You In': The Poor People’s Campaign and the Mass Media," The Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics and Culture 3:1 (Spring 2010) — Winning article for the Ronald T. and Gayla D. Farrar Media and Civil Rights Award, 2011

Classes Taught

HIST 3301W: Freedom Struggles in Black and Brown

UW 1020: Memorials, Museums, and Monuments

UW 1020: Writing Race, Filming History

UW 1020: Narratives of Struggle