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Lay Bare the Heart: An Autobiography of the Civil Rights Movement
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Lay Bare the Heart: An Autobiography of the Civil Rights Movement

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4.28  ·  Rating details ·  74 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Texas native James Farmer is one of the “Big Four” of the turbulent 1960s civil rights movement, along with Martin Luther King Jr., Roy Wilkins, and Whitney Young. Farmer might be called the forgotten man of the movement, overshadowed by Martin Luther King Jr., who was deeply influenced by Farmer’s interpretation of Gandhi’s concept of nonviolent protest.

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Paperback, 370 pages
Published June 1st 1998 by Texas Christian University Press (first published 1985)
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Kate I would recommend the book to high school and adult. There is some salty and some derogatory language that would need to be addressed with younger…moreI would recommend the book to high school and adult. There is some salty and some derogatory language that would need to be addressed with younger readers to understand the context. However, if you read the book first, which I highly recommend, you could certainly share a great deal of it with a 10 year old. It would be an important enrichment of his/her understanding of U.S. history.(less)

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Mikey B.
Feb 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is an essential on the Civil Rights movement. Mr. Farmer was involved in this movement prior to World War II. He was living in Chicago trying to integrate restaurants, skating arcades and the like. It was a constant struggle, it was draining, and it was certainly not lucrative. The people involved in this work for racial equality needed dedication and resilience in abundance.

Mr. Farmer met a wide variety of people from Eleanor Roosevelt, Malcolm X, A.J. Muste, and President
...more
Larry Taylor
Jun 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I've been attempting to fill in some gaps in my education and understanding in a personal quest to understand and be more compassionate of others. As a family, we were watching the movie "THe Great Debaters", which led me to interest in James Farmer (the young kid on the debate team). Lay Bear the Heart is his autobiography, and with it, the history of the civil rights movement in America. Farmer was a brilliant, highly educated, extraordinarily brave, devout Christian man. This is an important ...more
Ginny
Apr 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Dr. Farmer was one of my favorite professors in college--such an amazing man with the most powerful stories to tell. This book will always have a special place on my shelves.
Kate
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Why did I never hear of this man before? I was a kid during the 60’s and very aware of my dad’s close attention to and support of the Civil Rights Movement. I saw and loved the movie “The Great Debaters” some years ago, but either forgot or never realized that the young protagonist went on to become a major leader in the fight to end segregation... and so much more. James Farmer should be in our history books right up there with Martin Luther King, Jr. Although his beliefs and methods were entir ...more
Andrea
Sep 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography, race
This is one of the autobiographies that reveals more than the author would like I think, and I didn't especially like James Farmer a great deal. Much as I admire the Congress of Racial Equality and the Freedom Rides and some of the stands Farmer took along with those he worked with. I found it a bit sanctimonious and prudish and self-serving, in addition to the fact that he seemed to really buy into the virulent anti-communism sponsored by HUAC and others. So when he talks about how the movement ...more
Mary
Dec 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
I recently reread this book. I had James Farmer as a professor in college and his lectures were much more lively than the book. He would start singing. He was quite a story teller and a great resource on the civil rights era. The book is pretty much his whole life story which is fascinating.
David Bird
Apr 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-landmarks
James Farmer was one of the most impressive human beings I have ever had the privilege to know, even a little. This volume presents his vision and his courage, as well as his fears and doubts.

Because when I had class with him, he was blind from years of teargas, to sign my copy, I placed his hand on the book.
Chi Chi
Nov 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
For all I've read about the Civil Rights Movement, I didn't really know anything about James Farmer or CORE. Not only did this book fill in a lot of gaps for me historically, it's an extremely well written piece of literature.
Jeff
Jul 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One of my professors participated in the freedom rides, listening to him talk made me hunt down this book. A wonderful read, a valuable lesson in humanism and non-violence.
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