Wesley G. Phelps

Civil Rights in Mid-Twentieth Century Houston

Wesley G. Phelps is an Assistant Professor of History at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville. He completed his Ph.D. at Rice University in 2010. His book, “A People’s War on Poverty: Urban Politics and Grassroots Activists in Houston”, was published by the University of Georgia Press in 2014. In the book, Phelps investigates the on-the-ground implementation of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty in Houston during the 1960s and 1970s, paying particular attention to the ways in which the federal program ignited conflicts over the meaning of democracy and the rights of citizenship.

Phelps’ current research continues to explore local activism in the urban South. He is currently finishing an article on gay and lesbian political activism in Houston during the 1980s and is also conducting research for a book on the AIDS crisis in Atlanta between 1981 and 1996.

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