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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Mar 19, 2019 03:14AM) (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
This thread discusses the African-American Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968).

The African-American Civil Rights Movement (1955–1968) refers to the movements in the United States aimed at outlawing racial discrimination against African Americans and restoring Suffrage in Southern states.

This article covers the phase of the movement between 1954 and 1968, particularly in the South. By 1966, the emergence of the Black Power Movement, which lasted roughly from 1966 to 1975, enlarged the aims of the Civil Rights Movement to include racial dignity, economic and political self-sufficiency, and freedom from oppression by white Americans.

Many of those who were active in the Civil Rights Movement, with organizations such as NAACP, SNCC, CORE and SCLC, prefer the term "Southern Freedom Movement" because the struggle was about far more than just civil rights under law; it was also about fundamental issues of freedom, respect, dignity, and economic and social equality.

During the period 1955–1968, acts of nonviolent protest and civil disobedience produced crisis situations between activists and government authorities. Federal, state, and local governments, businesses, and communities often had to respond immediately to crisis situations which highlighted the inequities faced by African Americans.

Forms of protest and/or civil disobedience included boycotts such as the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955–1956) in Alabama; "sit-ins" such as the influential Greensboro sit-in (1960) in North Carolina; marches, such as the Selma to Montgomery marches (1965) in Alabama; and a wide range of other nonviolent activities.

Noted legislative achievements during this phase of the Civil Rights Movement were passage of Civil Rights Act of 1964,[1] that banned discrimination based on "race, color, religion, or national origin" in employment practices and public accommodations; the Voting Rights Act of 1965, that restored and protected voting rights; the Immigration and Nationality Services Act of 1965, that dramatically opened entry to the U.S. to immigrants other than traditional European groups; and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, that banned discrimination in the sale or rental of housing. African Americans re-entered politics in the South, and across the country young people were inspired to action.

Source: Wikipedia

message 2: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) The Congress of Racial Equality, or CORE, played a pivotal role during the 1960's civil rights movement. The following is excerpted from wikipedia:

The Congress of Racial Equality or CORE is a U.S. civil rights organization that originally played a pivotal role for African-Americans in the Civil Rights Movement. Membership in CORE is still stated to be open to "anyone who believes that 'all people are created equal' and is willing to work towards the ultimate goal of true equality throughout the world."

CORE was founded in Chicago in 1942 by James L. Farmer, Jr., George Houser, James R. Robinson, and Bernice Fisher. Bayard Rustin, while not a father of the organization, was, Farmer and Houser later said, "an uncle to CORE" and supported it greatly. The group had evolved out of the pacifist Fellowship of Reconciliation, and sought to apply the principles of nonviolence as a tactic against segregation. The group's inspiration was Krishnalal Shridharani's book War Without Violence, which outlined Gandhi's step-by-step procedures for organizing people and mounting a nonviolent campaign. Shridharani, a popular writer and journalist as well as a vibrant and theatrical speaker, had been a protege of Gandhi and had been jailed in the Salt March. Gandhi had, in turn, been influenced by the writings of Henry David Thoreau. At the time of CORE's founding Gandhi was still engaged in non-violent resistance against British rule in India; CORE believed that nonviolent civil disobedience could also be used by African-Americans to challenge racial segregation in the United States.

In accordance with CORE's constitution and bylaws, in the early and mid-1960s, chapters were organized on a model similar to that of a democratic trade union, with monthly membership meetings, elected and usually unpaid officers, and numerous committees of volunteers. In the South, CORE's nonviolent direct action campaigns opposed "Jim Crow" segregation and job discrimination, and fought for voting rights. Outside the South, CORE focused on discrimination in employment and housing, and also in de facto school segregation.

Some CORE main leadership had strong disagreements with the Deacons for Defense and Justice over the Deacons' public threat to racist Southerners that they would use armed self-defense to protect CORE workers from racist organizations, such as the Ku Klux Klan, in Louisiana during the 1960s. By the mid-1960s, Farmer was growing disenchanted with the emerging black nationalist sentiments within CORE — sentiments that, among other things, would quickly lead to the Black Panther Party — and he resigned in 1966, to be replaced by Floyd McKissick.

Civil rights campaigns
Congress of Racial Equality march in Washington DC on 22 September 1963 in memory of the children killed in the Birmingham bombings. The banner, which says "No more Birminghams", shows a picture of the aftermath of the bombing. By 1961 CORE had 53 chapters throughout the United States. By 1963, most of the major urban centers of the Northeast, Midwest, and West Coast had one or more CORE chapters, including a growing number of chapters on college campuses. In the South, CORE had active chapters and projects in Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, South Carolina, and Kentucky.

Freedom Rides
On April 10, 1947, CORE sent a group of eight white (including James Peck, their publicity officer) and eight black men on what was to be a two-week Journey of Reconciliation through Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky in an effort to end segregation in interstate travel. The members of this group were arrested and jailed several times, but they received a great deal of publicity, and this marked the beginning of a long series of similar campaigns.

By the early 1960s, Farmer, who had taken a hiatus from leading the group, returned as its executive secretary and sought to repeat the 1947 journey, coining a new name for it: the Freedom Ride.

On May 4, 1961, participants journeyed to the deep South, this time including women as well as men and testing segregated bus terminals as well. The riders were met with severe violence. In Anniston, Alabama, one of the buses was fire-bombed and passengers were beaten by a white mob. White mobs also attacked Freedom Riders in Birmingham and Montgomery. The violence garnered national attention, sparking a summer of similar rides by CORE, SNCC and other Civil Rights organizations and thousands of ordinary citizens.

Desegregating Chicago's Schools
In 1960, the Chicago chapter of CORE began to challenge racial segregation in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). By the late 1950s, the Board of Education's maintenance of the neighborhood school policy resulted in a pattern of racial segregation in the CPS. Predominantly black schools were situated in predominantly black neighborhoods on the south and west sides of the city, while predominantly white schools were located in predominantly white areas in the north, northwest and southwest sides of Chicago.

Many segregated schools were overcrowded, and in order to ease overcrowding, the Board instated double-shifts at some schools. Double-shifts meant that students in affected schools attended less than a full day of class. In another measure to alleviate overcrowding at some schools, the Board sanctioned the construction of mobile classroom units. Moreover, a significant proportion of students dropped out before finishing high school. Faculty was segregated, and many teachers in predominantly black schools lacked full-time teaching experience compared to teachers in white schools. In addition, the history curriculum did not mention African Americans. According to CORE, “school segregation [was] a damaging bacteria, a psychological handicap, which [festered] a disease generating widespread unemployment and crime in Chicago.”

Between 1960 and 1963, CORE wrote letters about the conditions of schools to the Board of Education (headed by Superintendent Benjamin Willis), Mayor Richard J. Daley, the Illinois State House of Representatives and the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. In addition, CORE attended the Board's school budget hearings, speaking against segregation and asking for the Board to implement transfer plans to desegregate the schools. In July 1963, CORE staged a week-long sit-in and protest at the Board office in downtown Chicago in response to the Board's inaction. Finally, Board President Claire Roddewig and Willis agreed to meet with CORE to negotiate integration, but no significant changes came to the schools.

During the mid-1960s, CORE turned towards community involvement, seeking to equip Chicagoans with ways to challenge segregation. Freedom Houses, transfer petitions, community rallies and meetings served to educate Chicagoans about segregation and provide them with tools to circumnavigate the neighborhood school policy.

By 1966, the Chicago Freedom Movement, led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and Chicago's Coordinating Council of Community Organizations (CCCO), had assumed control over civil rights demonstrations and negotiations. While CORE was a member organization of the CCCO, it increasingly lost influence over desegregation efforts. And when the Chicago Freedom Movement met with representatives of the City to negotiate in the summer of 1966, they agreed on ten fair housing reforms but did not discuss reforms to desegregate the schools. While CORE played no role in the housing summit, it had shifted towards promoting and developing Black power in Chicago. By fall of 1966, CORE was no longer a civil rights organization, but a Black power organization. Changes in CORE's national leadership and continued inaction on behalf of the Board to desegregate the schools pushed CORE towards separatism and away from desegregation efforts. The chapter collapsed in October 1968.

March on Washington
In 1963, the organization helped organize the famous March on Washington. On 28 August 1963, more than 250,000 people marched peacefully to the Lincoln Memorial to demand equal justice for all citizens under the law. At the end of the march Martin Luther King Jr. made his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.

Freedom Summer
The following year, CORE, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) organized its Freedom Summer campaign. Its main objective was to attempt to end the political disenfranchisement of African Americans in the Deep South. Volunteers from the three organizations decided to concentrate its efforts in Mississippi. In 1962 only 6.7 percent of African Americans in the state were registered to vote, the lowest percentage in the country. This involved the formation of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP). Over 80,000 people joined the party and 68 delegates attended the Democratic Party Convention in Atlantic City and challenged the attendance of the all-white Mississippi representation.

CORE, SNCC and NAACP also established 30 Freedom Schools in towns throughout Mississippi. Volunteers taught in the schools and the curriculum now included black history, the philosophy of the civil rights movement. During the summer of 1964 over 3,000 students attended these schools and the experiment provided a model for future educational programs such as Head Start.

Freedom Schools were often targets of white mobs. So also were the homes of local African Americans involved in the campaign. That summer 30 black homes and 37 black churches were firebombed. Over 80 volunteers were beaten by white mobs or racist police officers. Three CORE activists, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, were murdered by the Ku Klux Klan on 21 June 1964. These deaths created nation-wide publicity for the campaign.

message 3: by Alisa (last edited Apr 09, 2011 05:19PM) (new)

Alisa (mstaz) CORE since 1968
Since 1968, CORE has been led by National Chairman Roy Innis, who initially led the organization to strongly support Black Nationalism. Subsequent political developments within the organization led it turn more towards the right. CORE supported the presidential candidacy of Richard Nixon in 1968 and 1972. In 1970, CORE voiced its support for racially-separate, segregated schools. An article in Mother Jones magazine said of the modern organization that it "is better known among real civil rights groups for renting out its historic name to any corporation in need of a black front person. The group has taken money from the payday-lending industry, chemical giant (and original DDT manufacturer) Monsanto, and ExxonMobil." In his book, Not A Conspiracy Theory: How Business Propaganda Hijacks Democracy, Donald Gutstein wrote that "In recent years CORE used its African-American facade to work with conservative groups to attack organizations like Greenpeace and undermine environmental regulation. It’s fair to say that CORE was for sale to anyone with a need for visible black cheerleaders in its campaign."

Recently, on same sex marriage and black health in the U.S.: "When you say to society at large that you have to accept, not only accept our lifestyle, but promote it and put it on the same plane and equate it with traditional marriage, that's where we draw the line and we say 'no.' That's not something that is a civil right. That is not something that is a human right," said Niger Innis, national spokesman for CORE, and son of Roy Innis. COREcares, an HIV/AIDS advocacy, education and prevention program for black women, was dismantled due to pressure from Project 21. Innis is on the board of the conservative Project 21 organization.

According to an interview given by James Farmer in 1993, "CORE has no functioning chapters; it holds no conventions, no elections, no meetings, sets no policies, has no social programs and does no fund-raising. In my opinion, CORE is fraudulent."

WAR WITHOUT VIOLENCE(no cover avail) Shridharan

Not a Conspiracy Theory by Donald Gutstein by Donald Gutstein

message 4: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) There appear to be very few books specifically on CORE:

CORE:STUDY IN CIVIL RGHTS(no cover) by August Meier

Seattle in Black and White The Congress of Racial Equality and the Fight for Equal Opportunity by Joan Singler by Joan Singler
"The story of Seattle's efforts to fight for racial equality, justice and public access is a story that must be continually told. Seattle in Black and White is a story rich with personal accounts of courage, honor and a belief that the American dream is for all. It weaves the threads of activism, courage, brilliance, and love into a luxurious canvas for all to view." -Norm Rice, CEO of the Seattle Foundation and former Seattle Mayor "Seattle in Black and White is an eyewitness account from one corner of our country of the energy and moral power of the civil rights movement, the movement that changed the political profile of America. It is also a call to continue the work of building 'the beloved community.'" -Congressman John Lewis "Seattle needs this book. Part memoir, part history, it tells the remarkable story of the activists who pierced the veil of complacency in the early 1960s and forced the city to begin dismantling its systems of segregation." -James N. Gregory, author of The Southern Diaspora: How the Great Migrations of Black and White Southerners Transformed America "Four remarkable women fought as fervently to end racial discrimination in Seattle as their counterparts in Mississippi or Alabama and their book is a powerful reminder that the campaign for racial equality had to be waged in every corner of the nation including the Pacific Northwest."

message 5: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) This looks interesting:
The Music Has Gone Out of the Movement Civil Rights and the Johnson Administration, 1965-1968 by David C. Carter by David C. Carter
After the passage of sweeping civil rights and voting rights legislation in 1964 and 1965, the civil rights movement stood poised to build on considerable momentum. In a famous speech at Howard University in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared that victory in the next battle for civil rights would be measured in "equal results" rather than equal rights and opportunities. It seemed that for a brief moment the White House and champions of racial equality shared the same objectives and priorities. Finding common ground proved elusive, however, in a climate of growing social and political unrest marked by urban riots, the Vietnam War, and resurgent conservatism. Examining grassroots movements and organizations and their complicated relationships with the federal government and state authorities between 1965 and 1968, David C. Carter takes readers through the inner workings of local civil rights coalitions as they tried to maintain strength within their organizations while facing both overt and subtle opposition from state and federal officials. He also highlights internal debates and divisions within the White House and the executive branch, demonstrating that the federal government's relationship to the movement and its major goals was never as clear-cut as the president's progressive rhetoric suggested.
Carter reveals the complex and often tense relationships between the Johnson administration and activist groups advocating further social change, and he extends the traditional timeline of the civil rights movement beyond the passage of the Voting Rights Act.

message 6: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) The term Watts Riots of 1965 refers to a large-scale riot which lasted 6 days in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, in August 1965. By the time the riot subsided, 34 people had been killed, 1,032 injured, and 3,438 arrested. It would stand as the most severe riot in Los Angeles history until the Los Angeles riots of 1992.

The riots began on August 11, 1965, in Watts, a neighborhood in Los Angeles, when Lee Minikus, a California Highway Patrol motorcycle officer, pulled over African American Marquette Frye, who Minikus believed was intoxicated because of his observed erratic driving. Frye failed to pass sobriety tests, including walking in a straight line and touching his nose, and was arrested soon after. Minikus refused to let Frye's brother, Ronald, drive the car home, and radioed for it to be impounded. As events escalated, a crowd of onlookers steadily grew from dozens to hundreds. The mob became violent, throwing rocks and other objects while shouting at the police officers. A struggle ensued shortly resulting in the arrest of Marquette and Ronald Frye, as well as their mother.

Burning buildings during the riots
Though the riots began in August, there had previously been a buildup of racial tension in the area. The riots that began on August 11 resulted from an amalgamation of such events in Watts, and the arrest of three Frye family members broke the tension as violence spilled onto the streets of Watts for four days.

Watts suffered from various forms and degrees of damage from the residents' looting and vandalism that seriously threatened the security of the city. Some participants chose to intensify the level of violence by starting physical fights with police, blocking the firemen of the Los Angeles Fire Department from their safety duties, or even beating white motorists. Others joined the riot by breaking into stores, stealing whatever they could, and some setting the stores themselves on fire.

LAPD Police Chief William Parker also fueled the radicalized tension that already threatened to combust, by publicly labeling the people he saw involved in the riots as "monkeys in the zoo". Overall, an estimated $40 million in damage was caused as almost 1,000 buildings were damaged or destroyed. Most of the physical damage was confined to white-owned businesses that were said to have caused resentment in the neighborhood due to perceived unfairness. Homes were not attacked, although some caught fire due to proximity to other fires.

books regarding the Watts riots:

Fire This Ttime The Watts Uprising and the 1960's by Gerald Horne by Gerald Horne
This book brings together a powerful historical analysis of the dynamics of race, poverty, and class, with a skillful narrative of recent events. It captures the factors behind one of America's most explosive social uprisings.

Listen to the Lambs by Johnny Otis by Johnny Otis
"In the summer of 1965, the Los Angeles neighborhood of Watts exploded in a race riot that spanned six days, claimed thirty-four lives, and brought America's struggle with racial oppression into harrowing relief." For Johnny Otis, "Godfather of Rhythm and Blues," the events of that summer would inspire one of the most compelling books to ever explore that fateful August in Watts. Originally published in 1968, Listen to the Lambs grew from a letter Otis wrote to an expatriate friend during the days following the riots. Otis moves back and forth between Watts and his own childhood to reveal an alternative history of the riots. Equal parts memoir, social history, and racial manifesto, Listen to the Lambs is a moving witness of collective turmoil and a people for whom the long-promised American Dream was nowhere to be found.

message 7: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) A book by one of the Little Rock Nine:

A Mighty Long Way My Journey to Justice at Little Rock Central High School by Carlotta Walls LaNier by Carlotta Walls LaNier
When fourteen-year-old Carlotta Walls walked up the stairs of Little Rock Central High School on September 25, 1957, she and eight other black students only wanted to make it to class. But the journey of the “Little Rock Nine,” as they came to be known, would lead the nation on an even longer and much more turbulent path, one that would challenge prevailing attitudes, break down barriers, and forever change the landscape of America.

Descended from a line of proud black landowners and businessmen, Carlotta was raised to believe that education was the key to success. She embraced learning and excelled in her studies at the black schools she attended throughout the 1950s. With Brown v. Board of Education erasing the color divide in classrooms across the country, the teenager volunteered to be among the first black students--of whom she was the youngest--to integrate nearby Central High School, considered one of the nation’s best academic institutions.

But for Carlotta and her eight comrades, simply getting through the door was the first of many trials. Angry mobs of white students and their parents hurled taunts, insults, and threats. Arkansas’s governor used the National Guard to bar the black students from entering the school. Finally, President Dwight D. Eisenhower was forced to send in the 101st Airborne to establish order and escort the Nine into the building. That was just the start of a heartbreaking three-year journey for Carlotta, who would see her home bombed, a crime for which her own father was a suspect and for which a friend of Carlotta’s was ultimately jailed--albeit wrongly, in Carlotta’s eyes. But she persevered to the victorious end: her graduation from Central.

Breaking her silence at last and sharing her story for the first time, Carlotta Walls has written an inspiring, thoroughly engrossing memoir that is not only a testament to the power of one to make a difference but also of the sacrifices made by families and communities that found themselves a part of history.

Complete with compelling photographs of the time, A Mighty Long Way shines a light on this watershed moment in civil rights history and shows that determination, fortitude, and the ability to change the world are not exclusive to a few special people but are inherent within us all.

message 8: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) I saw a segment on PBS of an interview with one of the authors and it was compelling. Looks like a worthy book.

While the World Watched A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age During the Civil Rights Movement by Carolyn Maull McKinstry by Carolyn Maull McKinstry and Denise George

On September 15, 1963, a Klan-planted bomb went off in the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Fourteen-year-old Carolyn Maull was just a few feet away when the bomb exploded, killing four of her friends in the girls' rest room she had just exited. It was one of the seminal moments in the Civil Rights movement, a sad day in American history . . . and the tur...moreOn September 15, 1963, a Klan-planted bomb went off in the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Fourteen-year-old Carolyn Maull was just a few feet away when the bomb exploded, killing four of her friends in the girls' rest room she had just exited. It was one of the seminal moments in the Civil Rights movement, a sad day in American history . . . and the turning point in a young girl's life.

While the World Watched is a poignant and gripping eyewitness account of life in the Jim Crow South - from the bombings, riots and assassinations to the historic marches and triumphs that characterized the Civil Rights movement.

A uniquely moving exploration of how racial relations have evolved over the past 5 decades, While the World Watched is an incredible testament to how far we've come and how far we have yet to go.

message 9: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Thank you Alisa, it looks interesting.

message 10: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) I think some of these eyewitness accounts reveal more of the sentiment of the time that we are just now starting to hear about from some people. The times and these events were tumultuous enough, but to have experienced this as a young child and reflect on it as an adult, should be revealing and enlightening.

message 11: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Yes, I agree - probably also fear would have kept them quiet too.

message 12: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Fear, coping with the trauma in the aftermath, trying to make sense of it all - as best as anyone can - a lot to cope with and the collective memory fades with the passage of time the magnitude of these events. Yes I think there is quite a bit that is still slowly being revealed.

message 13: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Folks have to feel comfortable and safe and then maybe they will be more revealing.

message 14: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) This looks interesting. A personal account from one man's involvement with the Black Panther Party and the journey to his life today.

Panther Baby by Jamal Joseph by Jamal Joseph
In the 1960s he exhorted students at Columbia University to burn their college to the ground. Today he's chair of their School of the Arts film division. Jamal Joseph's personal odyssey--from the streets of Harlem to Riker's Island and Leavenworth to the halls of Columbia--is as gripping as it is inspiring. Eddie Joseph was a high school honor student, slated to graduate early and begin college. But this was the late 1960s in Bronx's black ghetto, and fifteen-year-old Eddie was introduced to the tenets of the Black Panther Party, which was just gaining a national foothold. By sixteen, his devotion to the cause landed him in prison on the infamous Rikers Island--charged with conspiracy as one of the Panther 21 in one of the most emblematic criminal cases of the sixties. When exonerated, Eddie--now called Jamal--became the youngest spokesperson and leader of the Panthers' New York chapter. He joined the "revolutionary underground," later landing back in prison. Sentenced to more than twelve years in Leavenworth, he earned three degrees there and found a new calling. He is now chair of Columbia University's School of the Arts film division--the very school he exhorted students to burn down during one of his most famous speeches as a Panther. In raw, powerful prose, Jamal Joseph helps us understand what it meant to be a soldier inside the militant Black Panther movement. He recounts a harrowing, sometimes deadly imprisonment as he charts his path to manhood in a book filled with equal parts rage, despair, and hope.

message 15: by Jill (last edited Feb 13, 2012 10:19AM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) An American Insurrection James Meredith and the Battle of Oxford, Mississippi, 1962 by William Doyle by William Doyle

This book which is wonderfully researched, covers that dangerous summer of 1961 when African-American James Meredith attempted to enroll at "Ole Miss" in Oxford, Mississippi. Often called the last battle of the Civil War, troops were called in and violence broke out. I had not realized that two people died in fighting to bar Meredith from enrollment. Highly recommended.

message 16: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Great addition, thanks Jill. Sounds like a great book.

message 17: by Bea (new)

Bea | 1830 comments I hope you don't mind an inspirational video. Someone made this in honor of Martin Luther King's Birthday, and I didn't want to hold onto it until then.

Why Can't We Live Together? - Timmy Thomas

message 18: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Bea, thanks for sharing this. A great song and some very powerful images put together nicely. Thanks for the addition!

message 19: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Breach of Peace: Portraits of the 1961 Mississippi Freedom Riders

Breach of Peace Portraits of the 1961 Mississippi Freedom Riders by Eric Etheridge by Eric Etheridge


More than 70 contemporary photographs are collected alongside original mug shots and exclusive interviews with former Freedom Riders--men and women who converged in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1961 to challenge state segregation-- in this richly illustrated, large-format volume.

message 20: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) A picture is worth a thousand words. Thanks Bentley for the addition.

message 21: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
You are welcome.

message 22: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Just one of the images...........the firebombing of the Freedom Riders bus in 1961.

message 23: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Powerful image. It is hard to imagine what was going through the minds of everyone involved.

message 24: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Awful...very powerful.

message 25: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) This looks like a great book.

We Are Not Afraid: The Story of Goodman, Schwerner, and Chaney, and the Civil Rights Campaign for Mississippi
We Are Not Afraid The Story of Goodman, Schwerner, and Chaney, and the Civil Rights Campaign for Mississippi by Seth Cagin by Seth Cagin

We Are Not Afraid is the story of the 1964 killing of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner in Philadelphia, Mississippi, at the hands of Ku Klux Klansmen and the local cops. Described as "one of the best books on the civil rights movement," the murders it describes inspired the acclaimed film, Mississippi Burning. The events surrounding this seminal event have re-entered public debate due to the recent conviction of manslaughter by Klansman and Imperial Wizard, Edgar Ray Killen, for his part in orchestrating the murders. As America struggles to honestly confront its history of racism, there has never been a more timely moment to reissue this fully updated edition of We Are Not Afraid. From the roles played by such figures as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy to the remarkable courage of the Freedom Riders, this book relates the definitive story of a nation's ongoing battle for true democracy.

message 26: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Due to be released Jan 2013:

The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks

The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks by Jeanne Theoharis by Jeanne Theoharis
The definitive political biography of Rosa Parks examines her six decades of activism, challenging perceptions of her as an accidental actor in the civil rights movement.

Presenting a corrective to the popular notion of Rosa Parks as the quiet seamstress who, with a single act, birthed the modern civil rights movement, Theoharis provides a revealing window into Parks’s politics and years of activism. She shows readers how this civil rights movement radical sought—for more than a half a century—to expose and eradicate the American racial-caste system in jobs, schools, public services, and criminal justice.

message 27: by Mikey B. (last edited Dec 31, 2012 01:22PM) (new)

Mikey B. | 34 comments There are definitely interesting books in this discussion thread. I have already added
The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks by Jeanne Theoharis by Jeanne Theoharis
to my list.

I have a very interesting book that I read several years ago – and have always meant to re-read
I've Got the Light of Freedom The Organizing Tradition and the Mississippi Freedom Struggle by Charles M. Payne by Charles M. Payne

It focuses on the struggle, often fatal, for racial and particularly, voter equality in Mississippi. It examines the turbulent life of many of the grassroots people in that state who fought long and hard to get their rights.

A great book that looks at the totality of the Freedom rides is
(the picture on the cover of this book is in message 22)

Freedom Riders 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice by Raymond Arsenault by Raymond Arsenault

This is an excellent narrative history of the Freedom Bus rides of 1961. This is “on the ground” history with details of the bus rides and the horrendous events surrounding them – the Anniston bus burnings, the racist beatings in Birmingham and Montgomery. Mr. Arsenault tells the story as history in the making – at the time in question the bus riders did not have the advantage of forty-five year hind-sight.

message 28: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Thanks for the additions, MikeyB. There are lots of good books out there, and if this is a topic that interests you I hope you find other things to add to your list.

message 29: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) John Lewis is one of the last surviving members of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s inner circle. He serves in Congress, and himself has a remarkable story. In this book he writes about the civil rights movement.

Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement

Walking with the Wind A Memoir of the Movement by John Robert Lewis by John Robert Lewis John Robert Lewis
Congressman John Lewis takes readers inside the civil rights movement in Walking with the Wind and shares rare insight into the personalities at its heart.

As Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Congressman John Lewis was at the epicenter of the civil rights movement in the late '50s and '60s. Arrested more than forty times, he was one of its youngest and most courageous leaders. Writing with charm, warmth, and honesty, Lewis moves from the Nashville lunch counter sit-ins as he reflects on the era to the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, where he led more than five hundred marchers on what became known as "Bloody Sunday." Though there have been exceptional books on the movement, Lewis's profound personal story is "destined to become a classic in civil rights literature" (Los Angeles Times).

message 30: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4374 comments Mod
Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965

Eyes on the Prize America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965 by Juan Williams by Juan Williams


Eyes on the Prize traces the movement from the landmark Brown v. the Board of Education case in 1954 to the march on Selma and the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965.

message 31: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Jerome, thanks for the add. I believe there is a PBS documentary that draws on material from this book as well, but I have not seen it.

message 32: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Klansville, U.S.A:The Rise and Fall of the Civil Rights-era Ku Klux Klan

Klansville, U.S.A. The Rise and Fall of the Civil Rights-Era Ku Klux Klan by David Cunningham David Cunningham


In the 1960s, on the heels of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision and in the midst of the growing Civil Rights Movement, Ku Klux Klan activity boomed, reaching an intensity not seen since the 1920s, when the KKK boasted over 4 million members. Most surprisingly, the state with the largest Klan membership-more than the rest of the South combined-was North Carolina, a supposed bastion of southern-style progressivism. Klansville, U.S.A. is the first substantial history of the civil rights-era KKK's astounding rise and fall, focusing on the under-explored case of the United Klans of America (UKA) in North Carolina. Why the UKA flourished in the Tar Heel state presents a fascinating puzzle and a window into the complex appeal of the Klan as a whole. Drawing on a range of new archival sources and interviews with Klan members, including state and national leaders, the book uncovers the complex logic of KKK activity. David Cunningham demonstrates that the Klan organized most successfully where whites perceived civil rights reforms to be a significant threat to their status, where mainstream outlets for segregationist resistance were lacking, and where the policing of the Klan's activities was lax. Moreover, by connecting the Klan to the more mainstream segregationist and anti-communist groups across the South, Cunningham provides valuable insight into southern conservatism, its resistance to civil rights, and the region's subsequent dramatic shift to the Republican Party. Klansville, U.S.A. illuminates a period of Klan history that has been largely ignored, shedding new light on organized racism and on how political extremism can intersect with mainstream institutions and ideals.

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Alisa (mstaz) Scary. Thanks Bryan.

message 34: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision

Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement A Radical Democratic Vision by Barbara Ransby by Barbara Ransby

One of the most important African American leaders of the twentieth century and perhaps the most influential woman in the civil rights movement, Ella Baker (1903-1986) was an activist whose remarkable career spanned fifty years and touched thousands of lives. A gifted grassroots organizer, Baker shunned the spotlight in favor of vital behind-the-scenes work that helped power the black freedom struggle. She was a national officer and key figure in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, one of the founders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and a prime mover in the creation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Baker made a place for herself in predominantly male political circles that included W. E. B. DuBois, Thurgood Marshall, and Martin Luther King Jr., all the while maintaining relationships with a vibrant group of women, students, and activists both black and white. In this deeply researched biography, Barbara Ransby chronicles Baker's long and rich political career as an organizer, an intellectual, and a teacher, from her early experiences in depression-era Harlem to the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Ransby shows Baker to be a complex figure whose radical, democratic worldview, commitment to empowering the black poor, and emphasis on group-centered, grassroots leadership set her apart from most of her political contemporaries. Beyond documenting an extraordinary life, the book paints a vivid picture of the African American fight for justice and its intersections with other progressive struggles worldwide across the twentieth century.

message 35: by Jill (last edited Apr 29, 2013 07:34PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) No discussion of African American civil rights is complete without a reference to this violently racist work. The classic film Birth of a Nation (1915) was based on this book.....Woodrow Wilson exclaimed when first seeing the film "It is history written with lightening". He withdrew that statement when the outcry from Black Americans became to0 uncomfortable. I actually bought this book in a bargain bin at the library because it is partially responsible for the stirrings of the civil rights movement. It has to be read to be believed.....hatred practically jumps from the pages.

The Clansman: An Historical Romance of the Ku Klux Klan


The Clansman An Historical Romance of the Ku Klux Klan by Thomas Dixon Jr. by Thomas Dixon Jr. Thomas Dixon Jr.


" The year was 1865. With the close of the Civil War, there began for the South, an era of even greater turmoil. In The Clansman, his controversial 1905 novel, later the basis of the motion picture The Birth of a Nation, Thomas Dixon, describes the social, political, and economic disintegration that plagued the South during Reconstruction, depicting the rise of the Ku Klux Klan and the reactions of two families to racial conflict. This study in social history was alternatively praised and damned by contemporary critics. As historian Thomas D. Clark notes in his introduction, the novel "opened wider a vein of racial hatred which was to poison further an age already in social and political upheaval. Dixon had in fact given voice in his novel to one of the most powerful latent forces in the social and political mind of the South." For modern readers, The Clansman probes the roots of the racial violence that still haunts our society.

message 36: by Alisa (last edited May 21, 2013 03:10PM) (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Radio Free Dixie: Robert F. Williams and the Roots of Black Power

Radio Free Dixie Robert F. Williams and the Roots of Black Power by Timothy B. Tyson by Timothy B. Tyson Timothy B. Tyson

This book tells the remarkable story of Robert F. Williams--one of the most influential black activists of the generation that toppled Jim Crow and forever altered the arc of American history. In the late 1950s, as president of the Monroe, North Carolina, branch of the NAACP, Williams and his followers used machine guns, dynamite, and Molotov cocktails to confront Klan terrorists. Advocating "armed self-reliance" by blacks, Williams challenged not only white supremacists but also Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights establishment. Forced to flee during the 1960s to Cuba--where he broadcast "Radio Free Dixie," a program of black politics and music that could be heard as far away as Los Angeles and New York City--and then China, Williams remained a controversial figure for the rest of his life. Historians have customarily portrayed the civil rights movement as a nonviolent call on America's conscience--and the subsequent rise of Black Power as a violent repudiation of the civil rights dream. But "Radio Free Dixie" reveals that both movements grew out of the same soil, confronted the same predicaments, and reflected the same quest for African American freedom. As Robert Williams's story demonstrates, independent black political action, black cultural pride, and armed self-reliance operated in the South in tension and in tandem with legal efforts and nonviolent protest.

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Alisa (mstaz) Let Freedom Ring: Stanley Tretick's Iconic Images of the March on Washington

Let Freedom Ring Stanley Tretick's Iconic Images of the March on Washington by Kitty Kelley by Kitty Kelley Kitty Kelley


A bestselling author and legendary photographer present an illuminating look at a pivotal moment in our nation's history: The March on Washington

Despite the heat and humidity, people came in droves from across the country and around the world, heading for the towering spire of the Washington Monument in our nation’s capital. All of the marchers—black, white, Christian, and Jew—shared the same dream: freedom and equality for 19 million African Americans. Almost 300,000 strong, the marchers poured into Washington, D.C., to bear witness and to petition Congress to pass the President’s Civil Rights bill.

Stanley Tretick, a seasoned photojournalist best known for his iconic images of President Kennedy and his family, was also in the crowd, drawing inspiration from the historic scenes unfolding before him. In this magnificent book, his stirring photographs of that day are published for the first time. Accompanied by an insightful essay and captions from bestselling author Kitty Kelley, as well as a moving foreword by Marian Wright Edelman, Let Freedom Ring commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the March on Washington and celebrates the crescendo of the Civil Rights movement in America.

Mentioned: Stanley Tretick (no photo)

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Alisa (mstaz) Terrific performance by The Freedom Singers at the White House of a hallmark song of the civil rights movement, Ain't Nobody Gonna Turn Me 'Round

message 39: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Let me add another, Alisa since these words from Dr. King's speech resonate with me.

Free at Last, Free at Last, Thank God Almighty I'm Free at Last - The Blind Boys of Alabama

message 40: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) You beat me to it. Another terrific performance. Thanks Jill.

message 41: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Today marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, where Rev. Dr. Martin Luther ing Jr. delivered his now infamous "I Have a Dream" speech. An article below including reflections from a few people who were there that day.

'The moment we'd all been waiting for': March attendees remember King's historic 'dream' speech
By Tracy Jarrett, NBC News contributor

Fifty years ago, more than 200,000 people gathered on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. NBC News asked six African-Americans who attended the march to share their memories of that day and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s "I Have a Dream" speech – and how they’ve passed on King's message to the next generation.

Jack White, 67, Journalist
Richmond, Virginia

In August of 1963, I was just out of high school and had a lot of curiosity about the civil rights movement. I grew up in Washington, a segregated city, and until 1954, I’d attended segregated schools.

On the day of the March on Washington, I put on a sport coat and a tie; it was sweltering hot. People were just more formal then.

The powers that be were afraid of violence – can’t have all those Negroes there without trouble! – but it was the opposite. People were peaceful, respectful. Joyous and reverent would describe the mood.

When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his famous speech it was all echoes to me. Still, I knew it was a historic moment because I could feel it in the crowd – this was the moment we’d all been waiting for.

Looking back, the point that resonates with me most is when he talked about the Declaration of Independence being a promissory note that all Americans should be treated equal, but America had given a check to citizens of color saying “insufficient funds.”

That’s what bedevils us today, the contradiction between the magnificent visions that Dr. King outlined and the reality that we have still yet to deliver on that promissory note. How are we going to make America America for everybody who lives in it? That was always the issue.

I started having conversations with my kids about the notion of battling for justice as soon as I thought they were old enough to understand that whatever opportunities they enjoy come about as a consequence of what people did before them.

On one hand, my children and grandchildren have opportunities somebody my age could never conceive. There’s nothing they can’t do. On the other hand, what they don’t have, that people my age had, is this sense of a historic moment when everything is changing.

Anne Ruth Borders-Patterson, 73, Civil rights activist and retired professor
Atlanta, Georgia

As a little girl in Atlanta, I went to segregated schools. We got all our books and desks second-hand from the white schools. I thought, why do we have to have books like this, all torn and tattered? There were all these rules that were supposed to make us think we were second-class citizens, though I never believed that.

In 1960, when I was a junior at Spelman College, I was one of the organizers of the Atlanta student movement. When we sat in at numerous “whites-only” restaurants, I was one of those who went to jail. Three years later, I drove to the March on Washington from Boston University, where I’d attended graduate school.

I never imagined a crowd like that. It looked magical, unbelievable. I remember not being able to move in the crowd. I remember children on their parents’ shoulders. And the number of white people out there -- to see all of them amongst the crowd of black people was amazing.

When King talked about looking forward to his little children being able to grow up in a society where race was no longer defining who they were or who they would become, that stood out to me a lot. I could begin to dream as he dreamed.

To my kids I have said, don’t be lulled by the fact that you can sit where you want on a bus or go to hotels, these are rights that you take for granted. You stand on the shoulders of many people. I think we’ve made progress but I still feel racism is alive and well in the United States today, and that is unfortunate and disappointing. We must continue to be committed to fighting for King’s dream.

Lurline Jones, 68, Basketball coach and educator
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

My mother had told me not to go to the march because she was scared of violence, but I just had to go.

At the time, I was part of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) at Morgan State College in Baltimore and had been on freedom rides to Cambridge, Maryland. I'd also participated in a sit-in with other students at a segregated movie theater in Baltimore. Some of us ended up arrested. I spent five days in jail. Afterwards, they integrated the theater.

The day of the march, the streets of Washington were filled with people coming from every direction, and everybody was going to the same place. We were arm in arm, singing, “We shall overcome.”

The line from Dr. King’s speech that really resounded with us, what we could hear loud and clear, was “free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, we are free at last.” The whole place erupted in cheers, people were jumping up and down, hugging and kissing.

I knew that I was doing something to let the people in this country know that you can’t continue to treat us the way you’ve been treating us, because we are Americans. We believe in the preamble and the Constitution. We fight in wars. We should be treated right. I felt very strongly that that’s what would happen. I really believed the dream.

I was with my grandchildren the other day, and I was telling them about the march. I wanted them to know about it, and about Dr. King. I told my son, “Please make sure that my grandchildren will always remember that their grandmother was there, and that their grandmother has always been a fighter and continues to be a fighter for equality.”

All the things that we marched for in 1963 are basically the same problems we face in 2013. In some instances, doors have opened, some doors have been shut, and some doors have been left ajar, but it’s still a process. I don’t think we are all the way there.

Les Payne, 72, Journalist
New York, New York

On the day of the march, I took a bus to Washington from Hartford, Conn., where I had just graduated from the University of Connecticut. I was leaving for the army a few days later.

I didn’t go down there knowing Dr. King would speak; but I understood the significance of the march, although I was just coming into my political maturity.

In King’s speech, when he talked about the red hills of Georgia, it took me home in a way that really was transcending. I was born not too far away, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and my grandparents still lived there. What he said brought together all of what was happening in Alabama – Bull Connor and George Wallace and the bus boycott – what black folks had been through, and what happened in my own life. For me, he was no longer flying at 20,000 feet. He was on the ground, and he was talking to me.

At that point, politically I was struggling with overcoming a conditioned sense of inferiority, and I was trying to come to grips with that between both King and Malcolm X. I embraced them both; in fact, my own enlightenment was coming to realize that you didn’t have to choose between them.

When our kids entered first grade [we] started keeping them out of school on King’s birthday, long before it was a holiday. We would drive them to New York City for a program at one of the black churches, or we would listen to an album of King’s speeches and talk to them about who he was and what racism was about.

I think King got his work done. The first Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act show his work, but until we (African-Americans) get rid of present vestiges of inferiority, we won’t be liberated.

George Mitchell,
69, Illinois NAACP State Conference President
Evanston, Illinois

In 1963, I was a Howard University student in Chicago for the summer. There were two trains that took people to the march. It’s a 12-hour ride or more.

We sang songs, like “We Shall Overcome,” pretty much the whole ride; it gave you a sense that you were part of something bigger than yourself, and that no matter what happened, you were going to be ok.

King’s speech was truly a dream speech; he talked about what it should be like in this country. It made me more aware of the injustices prevalent in American society and brought home the idea that people don’t just give you justice, you gotta demand it.

My wife and I used to tell our children, you have to be 10 percent better to be seen as equal. My children were always taught to respect themselves, respect others, but when people wrong you, stand up for yourself.

Nolan Atkinson, 70, Trial lawyer and chief diversity officer of Duane Morris, LLP
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

I was attending summer school at Boston University where I just finished my junior year. I was assistant eastern regional Vice President of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, and the fraternity determined that all national officers should attend the March on Washington.

It was an attentive crowd. The speeches made many people believe that ending segregation, raising the minimum wage and making political change were things that could be achieved.

When Dr. King began with “I have a dream today,” the words were so simple and so eloquent that you just listened. It took on an almost church-like feel as he spoke. I think people left that march feeling like, we’re going to get this done.

Throughout my life, I have always tried to be a leader for diversity and inclusion. I try and enable people of color to have full opportunity. This was something that was passed down to my children.

King was a leader and that is what we need today, more than anything – leadership from the next generation. People who are willing to stand up and talk about things that are right, needed, and necessary. Certainly there have been achievements since King’s speech and his dream, but the kind of nation that King wanted, and believed was possible, is still a dream, not a reality --that’s something we have to continue to work on.

Link to the full version of Dr. King's speech:

Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King Jr.

message 42: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Thanks, Alisa. It will go down in history as one of the most influential and moving speeches in history.
I don't think that Dr. King would be very happy with the situation today. Hate filled rants and accusatory statements from the "leadership" is not the way he wanted his legacy to be remembered. Besides, I'm not sure who the "leadership" of the movement is at this point and that may be the you said, "no leadership from the next generation". I'm afraid that the country is becoming more divided rather than moving toward a model of diversity and brotherhood.

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Alisa (mstaz) I don't think he would be content, but I also think he would see much more optimism and potential for change rather than get bogged down by the detractors who continue to spew discord and create divisiveness. I think he would be surrounded by others who genuinely step up to be a force for change in their own way. Unfortunately, there is no central figure around which people have rallied since his time. We have to look within ourselves and step up. I think that is a godo part of the legacy he left.
Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) I feel things would have been different indeed if he would have lived. He was a man to whom people of all color could relate. No leader has come forward and those who claim to be the spokesperson for civil rights are the complete opposite from Dr. King, whose peaceful and steady push for equality accomplished much.....not as much as we would like but certainly a huge step forward. I see us slipping backward now.

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Alisa (mstaz) There is more to be done, and I agree had he lived we would see more progress than what exists today.

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Kressel Housman | 917 comments I'm currently reading Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody by Anne Moody. It's the personal memoir of one of the Civil Rights activists. It's an absorbing read, but for the first two-thirds of the book, she describes her childhood and education. The personal is political, of course, but I think I'm going to need to supplement this book if I'm really going to learn the history. Some of the books above look really good.

message 47: by Alisa (last edited Mar 05, 2014 11:04AM) (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Kressel, that book has been in my reading pile for while so will be interested in your thoughts when you finish it. There are so many personal stories like this that are important voices in learning history. Glad to see you exploring this thread. Your comment that the person is the political - so true.
Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody by Anne Moody (no photo)

You might also find these two interesting. They each center on personal stories to illustrate the times:

Arc of Justice A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age by Kevin Boyle by Kevin Boyle (no photo)
Claudette Colvin Twice Toward Justice by Phillip M. Hoose by Phillip M. Hoose Phillip M. Hoose

message 48: by Kressel (new)

Kressel Housman | 917 comments Thanks for your interest, Alisa. I reviewed the book on my "50 Books in 2014" thread. I think it's #13.

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Alisa (mstaz) I'll check it out, thanks! Still need to move it up on my own to-read pile - when I find the time is the question.

message 50: by Kressel (new)

Kressel Housman | 917 comments I see that you're the moderator for the Supreme Court thread. I just finished Justice Sotomayor's memoir:

My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor by Sonia Sotomayor

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