Black & White Together: Fcaatsi

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Black and White Together: Fcaatsi: The Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Straight Islanders 1958-1972

Sue Taffe

Publisher:University of Queensland Pr (Australia)

In the l950s Australia considered itself “the land of the fair go.” However, this was not the experience of Indigenous Australians who were excluded from the vote, equal wages, education and social services. Action against such disparity came in 1958 with the creation of the grassroots organisation, the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, whose founding members were black and white. As the first national lobby group of its kind, it achieved sweeping social and legislative reforms for Indigenous Australians. Over the next decade, unions, religious groups, communists, students, artists and activists joined in the timely alliance, campaigning for inclusive civil rights and land rights. Conflicting ideologies and shifts in leadership strained the group's harmony and effectiveness. With the advent of black power politics and the Tent Embassy, FCAATSI became an Indigenous body and the inter-racial coalition came to an end.This rigorously researched and absorbing book on Australia's pre-eminent Indigenous civil rights organisation began as an oral history and contains rare interviews with former members and strategists, including Faith Bandler, Charles Perkins, Stan Davey, Shirley Andrews and Joe McGinness.This book was shortlisted for: 2006 Wk Hancock Prize

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