It's time to let in the sun
(New York): Nixon/Agnew Campaign Committee, (1968).
First printing. (24) pp., 5.5 x 8.5 inches. Stapled into printed wrappers. Light edge-wear, a touch of rust to the staples, otherwise very good. Item #4126
Richard Nixon, in his 1968 campaign, carefully targeted a stratum of African American voters whom he thought he could attract. This brochure, with content similar to but more extensive than his ads in Jet magazine, for instance, uses evocative portrait photographs (that some have compared to the work of Gordon Parks) and features an image of Martin Luther King, as well as language — drawn from two Nixon speeches of 1968 — calculated to appeal to his intended middle-class and educated audience: "essential dignity of man"; "emerging pride of the Black American"; and so on. Somewhat remarkably, there is even an appeal to "listen to the militants -- carefully, hearing not only the threats but also the programs and promises."
Essential to the campaign's strategy was the counsel and participation of black intellectuals, among them Floyd McKissick (leader of CORE), who is portrayed and quoted in the brochure. Stressing education as a route to home ownership and jobs, the familiar argument is for "personal responsibility" in a capitalist framework; the subtext is the undesirability of government assistance and the virtue of self-motivation: "It's time to move past the old civil rights" and "people, marshaling their own energies, moved by their own will, pursuing their own dreams."
As documented in numerous books and studies, the strategy was highly successful: Nixon received 15 percent of the Black vote, far more than Barry Goldwater had in 1964 -- or, for that matter, Romney or McCain (for more details, see Theodore Johnson's 2016 Politico essay, "What Nixon Can Teach the GOP About Courting Black Voters," for example).
Scarce; OCLC locates just one copy, at Northwestern.