Gordon Mantler

Affiliated Faculty, Assistant Professor
Ames Hall 209
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.


PhD, Duke University, 2008


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

“Rainbow Reformers: Black-Brown Activism and the Election of Harold Washington,” in Beyond Civil Rights, ed. Brian Behnken (University of Georgia Press, forthcoming)

“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

“Attention to candidates and issues in newspaper coverage of 1992 presidential campaign,” with David Whiteman, Newspaper Research Journal (Summer 1995)

Classes Taught

UW 1020: Writing Race, Filming History

UW 1020: Narratives of Struggle