When Aaron Henry returned home to Mississippi from World War II service in 1946, he was part of wave of black servicemen who challenged the racial status quo. He became a pharmacist through the GI Bill, and as a prominent citizen, he organized a hometown chapter of the NAACP and relatively quickly became leader of the state chapter.
From that launching pad he joined and helped lead an ensemble of activists who fundamentally challenged the system of segregation and the almost total exclusion of African Americans from the political structure. These efforts were most clearly evident in his leadership of the integrated Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party delegation, which, after an unsuccessful effort to unseat the lily-white Democratic delegation at the Democratic National Convention in 1964, won recognition from the national party in 1968.
The man who the New York Times described as being “at the forefront of every significant boycott, sit-in, protest march, rally, voter registration drive and court case” eventually became a rare example of a social-movement leader who successfully moved into political office. Aaron Henry of Mississippi covers the life of this remarkable leader, from his humble beginnings in a sharecropping family to his election to the Mississippi house of representatives in 1979, all the while maintaining the social-change ideology that prompted him to improve his native state, and thereby the nation.
Robert Trent Vinson Ohio University Press, 2018 Library of Congress E184.H95V56 2018 | Dewey Decimal 968.05092
In an excellent addition to the Ohio Short Histories of Africa series, Robert Trent Vinson recovers the important but largely forgotten story of Albert Luthuli, Africa’s first Nobel Peace Prize winner and president of the African National Congress from 1952 to 1967. One of the most respected African leaders, Luthuli linked South African antiapartheid politics with other movements, becoming South Africa’s leading advocate of Mahatma Gandhi’s nonviolent civil disobedience techniques. He also framed apartheid as a crime against humanity and thus linked South African antiapartheid struggles with international human rights campaigns.
Unlike previous studies, this book places Luthuli and the South African antiapartheid struggle in new global contexts, and aspects of Luthuli’s leadership that were not previously publicly known: Vinson is the first to use new archival evidence, numerous oral interviews, and personal memoirs to reveal that Luthuli privately supported sabotage as an additional strategy to end apartheid. This multifaceted portrait will be indispensable to students of African history and politics and nonviolence movements worldwide.
Amílcar Cabral was an agronomist who led an armed struggle that ended Portuguese colonialism in Guinea-Bissau and Cabo Verde. The uprising contributed significantly to the collapse of a fascist regime in Lisbon and the dismantlement of Portugal’s empire in Africa. Assassinated by a close associate with the deep complicity of the Portuguese colonial authorities, Cabral not only led one of Africa’s most successful liberation movements, but was the voice and face of the anticolonial wars against Portugal.
A brilliant military strategist and astute diplomat, Cabral was an original thinker who wrote innovative and inspirational essays that still resonate today. His charismatic and visionary leadership, his active pan-Africanist solidarity and internationalist commitment to “every just cause in the world,” remain relevant to contemporary struggles for emancipation and self-determination. Peter Karibe Mendy’s compact and accessible biography is an ideal introduction to his life and legacy.
When William "Blue" Jenkins was only six months old, he moved with his parents from a Mississippi sharecropper’s farm to the industrial city of Racine, Wisconsin with dreams of a new life. As an African-American in the pre–civil rights era, Blue came face to face with racism: the Ku Klux Klan hung a black figure in effigy from a tree in the Jenkins family’s yard. Growing up, Blue knew where blacks could shop, eat, and get a job in Racine—and where they couldn’t. The injustices that confronted Blue in his young life would drive his desire to make positive changes to his community and workplace in adulthood.
This addition to the Badger Biographies series shares Blue Jenkins’s story as it acquaints young readers with African-American and labor history. Following an all-star career as a high school football player, Blue became involved in unions through his work at Belle City Malleable. As World War II raged on, he participated in the home-front battle against discrimination in work, housing, and economic opportunity. When Blue became president of the union at Belle City, he organized blood drives and fought for safety regulations. He also helped to integrate labor union offices. In 1962, he became president of the U.A.W. National Foundry in the Midwest, and found himself in charge of 50,000 foundry union members.
Written in the tradition of Tony Hillerman, in Clouds without Rain, P. L. Gaus once again provides compelling intrigue and insight into Amish culture and tradition alongside contemporary American life.
In the wake of a fatal accident involving an Amish buggy and an eighteen-wheeler, Professor Michael Branden, working with the Holmes County Sheriff’s Department, becomes suspicious about the true nature of the crash. His suspicions only grow when the trustee of the dead man’s estate disappears a few days later.
Faced with Amish teenagers in goat masks robbing buggies on dusty lanes, land swindles involving out-of-town developers, several mysterious deaths, and the disappearance of a bank official, Branden realizes that there is far more to the story than a buggy crash on a sleepy country road.
This new edition of Clouds without Rain features an exclusive interview with the author, reading group materials, and a detailed map and driving guide to Holmes County, Ohio with everything one needs to visit the iconic scenes depicted in the story.
When the name Constance Baker Motley is mentioned, more often than not, the response is “Who was she?” or “What did she do?” The answer is multifaceted, complex, and inspiring.
Constance Baker Motley was an African American woman; the daughter of immigrants from Nevis, British West Indies; a wife; and a mother who became a pioneer and trailblazer in the legal profession. She broke down barriers, overcame gender constraints, and operated outside the boundaries placed on black women by society and the civil rights movement. In Constance Baker Motley: One Woman’s Fight for Civil Rights and Equal Justice under Law, Gary L. Ford Jr. explores the key role Motley played in the legal fight to desegregate public schools as well as colleges, universities, housing, transportation, lunch counters, museums, libraries, parks, and other public accommodations.
The only female attorney at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., Motley was also the only woman who argued desegregation cases in court during much of the civil rights movement. From 1946 through 1964, she was a key litigator and legal strategist for landmark civil rights cases including the Montgomery Bus Boycott and represented Martin Luther King Jr. as well as other protesters arrested and jailed as a result of their participation in sit-ins, marches, and freedom rides.
Motley was a leader who exhibited a leadership style that reflected her personality traits, skills, and strengths. She was a visionary who formed alliances and inspired local counsel to work with her to achieve the goals of the civil rights movement. As a leader and agent of change, she was committed to the cause of justice and she performed important work in the trenches in the South and behind the scene in courts that helped make the civil rights movement successful.
"Every writer has advice for aspiring writers. Mine is predicated on formative years spent cleaning my father’s calf pens: Just keep shoveling until you’ve got a pile so big, someone has to notice. The fact that I cast my life’s work as slung manure simply proves that I recognize an apt metaphor when I accidentally stick it with a pitchfork. . . . Poetry was my first love, my gateway drug—still the poets are my favorites—but I quickly realized I lacked the chops or insights to survive on verse alone. But I wanted to write. Every day. And so I read everything I could about freelancing, and started shoveling."
The pieces gathered within this book draw on fifteen years of what Michael Perry calls "shovel time"—a writer going to work as the work is offered. The range of subjects is wide, from musky fishing, puking, and mountain-climbing Iraq War veterans to the frozen head of Ted Williams. Some assignments lead to self-examination of an alarming magnitude (as Perry notes, "It quickly becomes obvious that I am a self-absorbed hypochondriac forever resolving to do better nutritionally and fitness-wise but my follow-through is laughable.") But his favorites are those that allow him to turn the lens outward: "My greatest privilege," he says, "lies not in telling my own story; it lies in being trusted to tell the story of another."
Born to Slovenian peasants, Louis Adamic commanded crowds, met with FDR and Truman, and built a prolific career as an author and journalist. Behind the scenes, he played a leading role in a coalition of black intellectuals and writers, working class militants, ethnic activists, and others that worked for a multiethnic America and against fascism. John Enyeart restores Adamic's life to the narrative of American history. Dogged and energetic, Adamic championed causes that ranged from ethnic and racial equality to worker's rights to anticolonialism. Adamic defied the consensus that equated being American with Anglo-Protestant culture. Instead, he insisted newcomers and their ideas kept the American identity in a state of dynamism that pushed it from strength to strength. In time, Adamic's views put him at odds with an establishment dedicated to cold war aggression and white supremacy. He increasingly fought smear campaigns and the distortion of his views--both of which continued after his probable murder in 1951.
Uruguayan Eduardo Galeano was an activist, visionary, and storyteller who began his hugely influential career with the publication of Open Veins of Latin America in 1971, which set a new standard for historical scholarship of Latin America. After this success, Galeano’s writing became increasingly lyrical and inspired by the storytelling of South America’s Indigenous peoples, while remaining politically engaged and prophetic.
This book picks up where Daniel Fischlin and Martha Nandorfy’s previous book on Galeano left off, focusing on timely and urgent themes in the last four books he wrote in the twenty-first century. Through his distinctive narrative style of short vignettes—tightly packed explosive stories—Galeano explores what it means to live as mortal beings with a finite amount of time on the earth, waxing and waning between despair and hope. As a hunter of stories, Galeano’s yarns place us, as his listeners and agents of history, in a web where past and future come together to create a present full of possibility.
Eleanor Baldwin and the Woman’s Point of View is an intellectual biography of a long-forgotten radical female journalist in Portland, whose daily women’s columns provide a window into the breadth of intellectual radicalism in Progressive Era journalism. Baldwin was one of an early generation of female journalists who were hired to lure female readers to the daily newspaper’s department store advertisements. Instead of catering to the demands of consumerism, Baldwin quickly brought an anti-capitalist, antiracist agenda to her column, “The Woman’s Point of View." She eschewed household hints and instead focused on the immorality of capitalists and imperialists while emphasizing the need for women to become independent and productive citizens.
A century before the Occupy movement and the Women’s March, Baldwin spoke truth to power. Imbued with a New Thought spirituality that presumed progressive thought could directly affect material reality, she wrote to move history forward. And yet, the trajectory of history proved as hard to forecast then as now. While her personal story seems to embody a modern progressivism, blending abolition with labor reform and anti-banker activism—positions from which she never wavered—her path grew more complicated as times changed in the aftermath of World War I, when she would advocate on behalf of both the Bolsheviks and the Ku Klux Klan.
In this deeply researched and nuanced account of Eleanor Baldwin’s intellectual journey, historian Larry Lipin reveals how even the most dedicated radical can be overcome by unforeseen events. Eleanor Baldwin and the Woman’s Point of View restores a missing chapter in Portland’s Progressive Era history and rescues this passionate, intriguing, and quixotic character from undeserved obscurity.
"Father Groppi: Marching for Civil Rights" tells the story of Father James Groppi, a Catholic priest from Milwaukee, Wis., who stood up for civil rights in the 1960s and 1970s.
This important new addition to the Badger Biographies series for young readers also tells about a turbulent time in Wisconsin history and sheds light on the civil rights movement and its place in the North.
Growing up on the south side of Milwaukee as the son of Italian immigrants, young James Groppi learned early on what it felt like to be made fun of just because of who you are, and he learned to respect people from other races and ethnic groups. Later, while studying to become a priest, he saw the discrimination African Americans faced. It made him angry, and he vowed to do whatever he could to fight racism.
Father Groppi marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other leaders of the civil rights movement. But he knew there was work to be done in his own city. In Milwaukee, he teamed up with the NAACP and other organizations, protesting discrimination and segregation wherever they saw it. It wasn't always easy, and Father Groppi and the other civil rights workers faced great challenges.
“It was one of those periods that you got through, as opposed to enjoyed. It wasn’t an environment that . . . was nurturing, so you shut it out. You just got through it. You just took it a day at a time. You excelled if you could. You did your best. You felt as though the eyes of the community were on you.”—Glenda Wilson, East Side Junior High
Much has been written about the historical desegregation of Little Rock Central High School by nine African American students in 1957. History has been silent, however, about the students who desegregated Little Rock’s five public junior high schools—East Side, Forest Heights, Pulaski Heights, Southwest, and West Side—in 1961 and 1962.
The First Twenty-Five gathers the personal stories of these students some fifty years later. They recall what it was like to break down long-standing racial barriers while in their early teens—a developmental stage that often brings emotional vulnerability. In their own words, these individuals share what they saw, heard, and felt as children on the front lines of the civil rights movement, providing insight about this important time in Little Rock, and how these often painful events from their childhoods affected the rest of their lives.
Psychiatrist, philosopher, and revolutionary, Frantz Fanon is one of the most important intellectuals of the twentieth century. He presented powerful critiques of racism, colonialism, and nationalism in his classic books, Black Skin, White Masks (1952) and The Wretched of the Earth (1961). This biography reintroduces Fanon for a new generation of readers, revisiting these enduring themes while also arguing for those less appreciated—namely, his anti-Manichean sensibility and his personal ethic of radical empathy, both of which underpinned his utopian vision of a new humanism. Written with clarity and passion, Christopher J. Lee’s account ultimately argues for the pragmatic idealism of Frantz Fanon and his continued importance today.
From Jail to Jail is the political autobiography of Sutan Ibrahim gelar Tan Malaka, an enigmatic and colorful political thinker of twentieth-century Asia, who was one of the most influential figures of the Indonesian Revolution. Variously labeled a communist, Trotskyite, and nationalist, Tan Malaka managed to run afoul of nearly every political group and faction involved in the Indonesian struggle for independence. During his decades of political activity, he spent periods of exile and hiding in nearly every country in Southeast Asia. As a Marxist who was expelled from and became a bitter enemy of his country’s Communist Party and as a nationalist who was imprisoned and murdered by his own government’s forces as a danger to its anticolonial struggle, Tan Malaka was and continues to be soaked in contradiction and controversy.
Davidson Don Tengo Jabavu was born in the Cape Colony in British southern Africa on October 20, 1885, when a few African men could vote and the prospects for black equality with the ruling whites seemed promising. He died on August 3, 1959, in the Cape Province of the Union of South Africa, eleven years after the apartheid state had begun stripping blacks of their rights and exorcising the 'ghost of equality' with a completeness unparalleled in the country's history. The 'ghost of equality was the last vestige of the Cape liberal tradition — itself best summed up by the dictum 'equal rights for all civilized men' — finally erased in 1959 with the passage of legislation that would, the following year, remove from parliament the last elected white representatives of Africans.…
If D.D.T. Jabavu's life reveals anything about South Africa's political history, it is that this history was not monolithic. It was not simply a lengthly confrontation between a black elite represented by the African National Congress and the white segregationist state. Rather, there was a range of black political opinion and activity, of which Jabavu, an active participant in virtually every government-sponsored and every major extraparliamentary conference between 1920 and the late 1940s, represented one prominent historical strain.
This book, however, is about more than D.D.T. Javavu's politics; it is about his public life, or perhaps more accurately, his public lives. The book is arranged thematically, divided according to the parts Jabavu played: student, teacher, Methodist, and politician.
Biography of a forgotten poet who used his name and influence to speak up for those on the margins of society.
Few surnames resonate in American history more than Beecher. The family’s abolitionist ministers, educators, and writers are central figures in the historical narrative of the United States. The Beechers’ influence was greatest in the nineteenth century, but the family story continued—albeit with less public attention—with a descendant who grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, during the early twentieth century.
John Beecher (1904–1980) never had the public prominence of his famous ancestors, but as a poet, professor, sociologist, New Deal administrator, journalist, and civil rights activist, he spent his life fighting for the voiceless and oppressed with a distinct moral sensibility that reflected his self-identification as the twentieth-century torchbearer for his famous family. While John Beecher had many vocations in his lifetime, he always considered himself a poet and a teacher. Some critics have compared the populist elements of Beecher’s poetry to the work of Walt Whitman and Carl Sandburg, but his writing never gained a broad audience or critical acclaim during his lifetime.
In Here I Stand:The Life and Legacy of John Beecher, Angela J. Smith examines Beecher’s writing and activism and places them in the broader context of American culture at pivotal points in the twentieth century. Employing his extensive letters, articles, unpublished poetry and prose, and audio interviews in addition to his numerous published books, Smith uncovers a record of public concerns in American history ranging from the plight of workers in 1920s steel mills to sharecroppers’ struggles during the Depression to the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
In 1969, poet and revolutionary Margaret Randall was forced underground when the Mexican government cracked down on all those who took part in the 1968 student movement. Needing to leave the country, she sent her four young children alone to Cuba while she scrambled to find safe passage out of Mexico. In I Never Left Home, Randall recounts her harrowing escape and the other extraordinary stories from her life and career. From living among New York's abstract expressionists in the mid-1950s as a young woman to working in the Nicaraguan Ministry of Culture to instill revolutionary values in the media during the Sandinista movement, the story of Randall's life reads like a Hollywood production. Along the way, she edited a bilingual literary journal in Mexico City, befriended Cuban revolutionaries, raised a family, came out as a lesbian, taught college, and wrote over 150 books. Throughout it all, Randall never wavered from her devotion to social justice. When she returned to the United States in 1984 after living in Latin America for twenty-three years, the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service ordered her to be deported for her “subversive writing.” Over the next five years, and with the support of writers, entertainers, and ordinary people across the country, Randall fought to regain her citizenship, which she won in court in 1989. As much as I Never Left Home is Randall's story, it is also the story of the communities of artists, writers, and radicals she belonged to. Randall brings to life scores of creative and courageous people on the front lines of creating a more just world. She also weaves political and social analyses and poetry into the narrative of her life. Moving, captivating, and astonishing, I Never Left Home is a remarkable story of a remarkable woman.
"The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." Like all of Steve Biko's writings, those words testify to the passion, courage, and keen insight that made him one of the most powerful figures in South Africa's struggle against apartheid. They also reflect his conviction that black people in South Africa could not be liberated until they united to break their chains of servitude, a key tenet of the Black Consciousness movement that he helped found.
I Write What I Like contains a selection of Biko's writings from 1969, when he became the president of the South African Students' Organization, to 1972, when he was prohibited from publishing. The collection also includes a preface by Archbishop Desmond Tutu; an introduction by Malusi and Thoko Mpumlwana, who were both involved with Biko in the Black Consciousness movement; a memoir of Biko by Father Aelred Stubbs, his longtime pastor and friend; and a new foreword by Professor Lewis Gordon.
Biko's writings will inspire and educate anyone concerned with issues of racism, postcolonialism, and black nationalism.
While African National Congress narratives dominate much of the scholarship on South Africa’s freedom struggle, Josie Mpama/Palmer’s political life offers a different perspective. Highly critical of the patriarchal attitudes that hindered black women from actively participating in politics, Mpama/Palmer was an outspoken advocate for women’s social equality and encouraged black women to become more involved in national conversations. The first black woman to join the Communist Party of South Africa and an antiapartheid activist, Josie Mpama/Palmer remained involved in critical issues all her life, especially protests against Bantu Education and other forms of racial and sexist discrimination. She was an integral figure in establishing the Federation of South African Women, an organization open to women of all races. Mpama/Palmer’s activism and political legacy would become an inspiring example for women in South Africa and around the world to get up and get moving.
Winner, 2019 Booker Worthen Prize from the Central Arkansas Library System.
A dedicated advocate for social justice long before the term entered everyday usage, Rabbi Ira Sanders began striving against the Jim Crow system soon after he arrived in Little Rock from New York in 1926. Sanders, who led Little Rock’s Temple B’nai Israel for nearly forty years, was a trained social worker as well as a rabbi and his career as a dynamic religious and community leader in Little Rock spanned the traumas of the Great Depression, World War II and the Holocaust, and the social and racial struggles of the 1950s and 1960s.
Just and Righteous Causes—a full biographical study of this bold social-activist rabbi—examines how Sanders expertly navigated the intersections of race, religion, and gender to advocate for a more just society. It joins a growing body of literature about the lives and histories of Southern rabbis, deftly balancing scholarly and narrative tones to provide a personal look into the complicated position of the Southern rabbi and the Jewish community throughout the political struggles of the twentieth-century South.
Marian Alexander Spencer was born in 1920 in the Ohio River town of Gallipolis, Ohio, one year after the “Red Summer” of 1919 that saw an upsurge in race riots and lynchings. Following the example of her grandfather, an ex-slave and community leader, Marian joined the NAACP at thirteen and grew up to achieve not only a number of civic leadership firsts in her adopted home city of Cincinnati, but a legacy of lasting civil rights victories.
Of these, the best known is the desegregation of Cincinnati’s Coney Island amusement park. She also fought to desegregate Cincinnati schools and to stop the introduction of observers in black voting precincts in Ohio. Her campaign to raise awareness of industrial toxic-waste practices in minority neighborhoods was later adapted into national Superfund legislation.
In 2012, Marian’s friend and colleague Dot Christenson sat down with her to record her memories. The resulting biography not only gives us the life story of remarkable leader but encapsulates many of the twentieth century’s greatest struggles and advances. Spencer’s story will prove inspirational and instructive to citizens and students alike.
Roy Doron Ohio University Press, 2016 Library of Congress PR9387.9.S27Z64 2016 | Dewey Decimal 823.914
Hanged by the Nigerian government on November 10, 1995, Ken Saro-Wiwa became a martyr for the Ogoni people and human rights activists, and a symbol of modern Africans’ struggle against military dictatorship, corporate power, and environmental exploitation. Though he is rightly known for his human rights and environmental activism, he wore many hats: writer, television producer, businessman, and civil servant, among others. While the book sheds light on his many legacies, it is above all about Saro-Wiwa the man, not just Saro-Wiwa the symbol.
Roy Doron and Toyin Falola portray a man who not only was formed by the complex forces of ethnicity, race, class, and politics in Nigeria, but who drove change in those same processes. Like others in the Ohio Short Histories of Africa series, Ken Saro-Wiwa is written to be accessible to the casual reader and student, yet indispensable to scholars.
Laura Méndez de Cuenca—poet, teacher, editor, writer, and feminist—dared to bypass the cultural traditions of her time.
In the early 1870s, when conservative religious thought permeated all aspects of Mexican life, she was one of very few women to gain admission to an extraordinary constellation of male poets, playwrights, and novelists, who were also the publicists and statesmen of the time. She entered this world through her poetry, intellect, curiosity, assertiveness, but her personal life was fraught with tragedy: she had a child out of wedlock by poet Manuel Acuña, who killed himself shortly thereafter. She later married another poet, Agustín Fidencio Cuenca, and had seven other children. All but two of her children died, as did Agustín.
As a penniless young widow facing social rejection, Laura became a teacher and an important force in Mexico’s burgeoning educational reform program. She moved abroad—first to San Francisco, then St. Louis, then Berlin. In these places where she was not known and women had begun to move confidently in the public sphere, she could walk freely, observe, mingle, make friends across many circles, learn, think, and express her opinions. She wrote primarily for a Mexican public and always returned to Mexico because it was her country’s future that she strove to create.
Now, for the first time in English, Mílada Bazant shares with us the trajectory of a leading Mexican thinker who applied the power of the pen to human feeling, suffering, striving, and achievement.
Established by Martin Eakes and Bonnie Wright in North Carolina in 1980, the nonprofit Center for Community Self-Help has grown from an innovative financial institution dedicated to civil rights into the nation's largest home lender to low- and moderate-income borrowers. Self-Help's first capital campaign—a bake sale that raised a meager seventy-seven dollars for a credit union—may not have done much to fulfill the organization's early goals of promoting worker-owned businesses, but it was a crucial first step toward wielding inclusive lending as a weapon for economic justice. In Lending Power journalist and historian Howard E. Covington Jr. narrates the compelling story of Self-Help's founders and coworkers as they built a progressive and community-oriented financial institution. First established to assist workers displaced by closed furniture and textile mills, Self-Help created a credit union that expanded into providing home loans for those on the margins of the financial market, especially people of color and single mothers. Using its own lending record, Self-Help convinced commercial banks to follow suit, extending its influence well beyond North Carolina. In 1999 its efforts led to the first state law against predatory lending. A decade later, as the Great Recession ravaged the nation's economy, its legislative victories helped influence the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the formation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Self-Help also created a federally chartered credit union to expand to California and later to Illinois and Florida, where it assisted ailing community-based credit unions and financial institutions. Throughout its history, Self-Help has never wavered from its mission to use Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision of justice to extend economic opportunity to the nation's unbanked and underserved citizens. With nearly two billion dollars in assets, Self-Help also shows that such a model for nonprofits can be financially successful while serving the greater good. At a time when calls for economic justice are growing ever louder, Lending Power shows how hard-working and dedicated people can help improve their communities.
At an event honoring Daisy Bates as 1990’s Distinguished Citizen then-governor Bill Clinton called her "the most distinguished Arkansas citizen of all time." Her classic account of the 1957 Little Rock School Crisis, The Long Shadow of Little Rock, couldn't be found on most bookstore shelves in 1962 and was banned throughout the South. In 1988, after the University of Arkansas Press reprinted it, it won an American Book Award. On September 3, 1957, Gov. Orval Faubus called out the National Guard to surround all-white Central High School and prevent the entry of nine black students, challenging the Supreme Court's 1954 order to integrate all public schools. On September 25, Daisy Bates, an official of the NAACP in Arkansas, led the nine children into the school with the help of federal troops sent by President Eisenhower–the first time in eighty-one years that a president had dispatched troops to the South to protect the constitutional rights of black Americans. This new edition of Bates's own story about these historic events is being issued to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the Little Rock School crisis in 2007.
Revisits the inspiring and heroic stories of the Freedom Riders, through their own words.
In May 1961, despite multiple Supreme Court rulings, segregation remained alive and well within the system of interstate travel. All across the American South, interstate buses as well as their travel facilities were divided racially. This blatant disregard for law and morality spurred the Congress of Racial Equality to send thirteen individuals—seven black, six white—on a harrowing bus trip throughout the South as a sign of protest.
These original riders were met with disapproval, arrests and violence along the way, but that did not stop the movement. That summer, more than four hundred Freedom Riders continued their journey—many of them concluding their ride at Mississippi’s notorious Parchman Farm, where they endured further abuses and indignities. As a result of the riders sacrifice, by November of 1961, the Interstate Commerce Commission finally put an end to interstate commerce segregation, and in the process, elevated the riders to become a source of inspiration for other civil rights campaigns such as voter registration rights and school desegregation.
While much has been written on the Freedom Rides, far less has been published about the individual riders. Join award-winning author B. J. Hollars as he sets out on his own journey to meet them, retracing the historic route and learning the stories of as many surviving riders as he could. The Road South: Personal Stories of the Freedom Riders offers an intimate look into the lives and legacies of the riders. Throughout the book these civil rights veterans’ poignant, personal stories offer timely insights into America’s racial past and hopeful future.
Weaving the past with the present, Hollars aims to demystify the legendary journey, while also confronting more modern concerns related to race in America. The Road South is part memoir and part research-based journalism. It transcends the traditional textbook version of this historical journey to highlight the fascinating stories of the many riders—both black and white—who risked their lives to move the country forward.
Timuel Black is an acclaimed historian, activist, and storyteller. Sacred Ground: The Chicago Streets of Timuel Black chronicles the life and times of this Chicago legend.
Sacred Ground opens in 1919, during the summer of the Chicago race riot, when infant Black and his family arrive in Chicago from Birmingham, Alabama, as part of the first Great Migration. He recounts in vivid detail his childhood and education in the Black Metropolis of Bronzeville and South Side neighborhoods that make up his "sacred ground."
Revealing a priceless trove of experiences, memories, ideas, and opinions, Black describes how it felt to belong to this place, even when stationed in Europe during World War II. He relates how African American soldiers experienced challenges and conflicts during the war, illuminating how these struggles foreshadowed the civil rights movement. A labor organizer, educator, and activist, Black captures fascinating anecdotes and vignettes of meeting with famous figures of the times, such as Duke Ellington and Martin Luther King Jr., but also with unheralded people whose lives convey lessons about striving, uplift, and personal integrity.
Rounding out this memoir, Black reflects on the legacy of his friend and mentee, Barack Obama, as well as on his public works and enduring relationships with students, community workers, and some very influential figures in Chicago and the world.
Twenty-five Latina agents of change share their inspirational stories.
Celebrated Latina civil rights activist Dolores Huerta once said, “Every moment is an organizing opportunity, every person a potential activist, every minute a chance to change the world.” These are the stories of some of the Latina activists from Wisconsin who have lived Huerta’s words. Somos Latinas shares the powerful narratives of 25 activists—from outspoken demonstrators to collaborative community-builders to determined individuals working for change behind the scenes—providing proof of the long-standing legacy of Latina activism throughout Wisconsin.
Somos Latinas draws on activist interviews conducted as part of the Somos Latinas Digital History Project, housed at the Wisconsin Historical Society, and looks deep into the life and passion of each woman. Though Latinas have a rich history of community activism in the state and throughout the country, their stories often go uncelebrated. Somos Latinas is essential reading for scholars, historians, activists, and anyone curious about how everyday citizens can effect change in their communities.
Sophonisba Breckinridge's remarkable career stretched from the Civil War to the Cold War. She took part in virtually every reform campaign of the Progressive and New Deal eras and became a nationally and internationally renowned figure. Her work informed women’s activism for decades and continues to shape progressive politics today. Anya Jabour's biography rediscovers this groundbreaking American figure. After earning advanced degrees in politics, economics, and law, Breckinridge established the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration, which became a feminist think tank that promoted public welfare policy and propelled women into leadership positions. In 1935, Breckinridge’s unremitting efforts to provide government aid to the dispossessed culminated in her appointment as an advisor on programs for the new Social Security Act. A longtime activist in international movements for peace and justice, Breckinridge also influenced the formation of the United Nations and advanced the idea that "women’s rights are human rights." Her lifelong commitment to social justice created a lasting legacy for generations of progressive activists.
Lindy Wilson Ohio University Press, 2011 Library of Congress DT779.8.B48W55 2012 | Dewey Decimal 968.06092
Steve Biko inspired a generation of black South Africans to claim their true identity and refuse to be a part of their own oppression. Through his example, he demonstrated fearlessness and self-esteem, and he led a black student movement countrywide that challenged and thwarted the culture of fear perpetuated by the apartheid regime. He paid the highest price with his life. The brutal circumstances of his death shocked the world and helped isolate his oppressors.
This short biography of Biko shows how fundamental he was to the reawakening and transformation of South Africa in the second half of the twentieth century—and just how relevant he remains. Biko’s understanding of black consciousness as a weapon of change could not be more relevant today to “restore people to their full humanity.”
As an important historical study, this book’s main sources were unique interviews done in 1989—before the end of apartheid—by the author with Biko’s acquaintances, many of whom have since died.
Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall said of Wiley Austin Branton that he “devoted his entire life to fighting for his own people.” There When We Needed Him is the story of that fight, which began with Branton's being one of the first black students at the University of Arkansas Law School and which took him to the highest levels of business and government. From his private law practice in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Branton became, along with Marshall, counsel for the Little Rock Nine in their 1957 efforts to integrate Central High School. Under his leadership of the Atlanta-based Voter Education Project, more than six hundred thousand black voters were registered from 1962 to 1965. He later became executive secretary of President Lyndon Johnson's Council on Equal Opportunity and special assistant to attorneys general Nicholas Katzenbach and Ramsey Clark. He provided leadership to the United Planning Organization, the Alliance for Labor Action, and the NAACP; and he was dean of Howard University Law School. At Branton’s funeral in 1988, former Arkansas senator David Pryor described him as “quiet and unassuming. . . . It is his humility and desire to always put the goals of the civil rights movement before self which probably accounts for the fact that [he] was not more famous than he was.” The influence of this quiet and unassuming man continues to be felt decades later.
The Transformation of the Abolitionist Movement from Peaceful Demonstration to Radical Confrontation as Embodied in John Brown
Establishing himself as a fresh and important voice in the history of African American emancipation,William S. King provides a critical introduction to the lead-up to the Civil War. A skilled and judicious chronicler, King seamlessly weaves multiple and seemingly disparate threads, including early nineteenth-century Revivalism, the emergence of the Republic of Texas, the fugitive slave laws—and even the explosion of a cannon aboard the U.S.S. Princeton in 1844—to explain how the opposition to slavery in America changed from producing speeches and pamphlets to embracing the reality that slavery could be eradicated only through armed conflict. By tracing this transformation through the life of John Brown, King provides an entirely new assessment of this enigmatic figure who was characterized as a “mad man” in the wake of his butchering of proslavery settlers in Kansas and the inept raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia. King puts these actions in context to explain the paradox of Brown’s legacy. On one hand he was vilified as an unstable threat to American democracy or a fanatical sideshow to the history of the Civil War, while on the other he was an inspiration to the oppressed, a man who garnered the indomitable Harriet Tubman’s commitment to the righteousness of his endeavor.
Elegantly written with a command of period sources, Till the Dark Angel Comes: Abolitionism and the Road to the Second American Revolution is the story of interracial opposition to slavery, the important debates among free blacks as to their future in America, and the arguments and compromises at the highest levels of government. Here we encounter many personalities of the time, some well known, such as Frederick Douglass,William Lloyd Garrison, and John C. Calhoun, and others less so, but no less important—Martin Delany, Henry Highland Garnet, and Elijah Lovejoy.
Jim Furnish joined the U.S. Forest Service in 1965, enthusiastic and naive, proud to be part of such a storied and accomplished agency. Nothing could have prepared him for the crisis that would soon rock the agency to its foundation, as a burgeoning environmental movement challenged the Forest Service’s legacy and legitimacy.
The Forest Service stumbled in responding to a wave of lawsuits from environmental groups in the late 20th Century—a phenomenon best symbolized by the spotted owl controversy that shut down logging on public forests in the Pacific Northwest in the 1990s. The agency was brought to its knees, pitted between a powerful timber industry that had been having its way with the national forests for decades, and organized environmentalists who believed public lands had been abused and deserved better stewardship.
Toward a Natural Forest offers an insider’s view of this tumultuous time in the history of the Forest Service, presenting twin tales of transformation, both within the agency and within the author’s evolving environmental consciousness. While stewarding our national forests with the best of intentions, had the Forest Service diminished their natural essence and ecological values? How could one man confront the crisis while remaining loyal to his employer?
In this revealing memoir, Furnish addresses the fundamental human drive to gain sustenance from and protect the Earth, believing that we need not destroy it in the process. Drawing on the author’s personal experience and his broad professional knowledge, Toward a Natural Forest illuminates the potential of the Forest Service to provide strong leadership in global conservation efforts. Those interested in our public lands—environmentalists, natural resource professionals, academics, and historians—will find Jim Furnish’s story deeply informed, thought-provoking, and ultimately inspiring.
Walter F. White of Atlanta, Georgia, joined the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1918 as an assistant to Executive Secretary James Weldon Johnson. When Johnson retired in 1929, White replaced him as head of the NAACP, a position he maintained until his death in 1955. During his long tenure, White was in the vanguard of the struggle for interracial justice. His reputation went into decline, however, in the era of grassroots activism that followed his death. White’s disagreements with the US Left, and his ambiguous racial background—he was of mixed heritage, could “pass” as white, and divorced a black woman to marry a white woman—fueled ambivalence about his legacy.
In this comprehensive biography, Zangrando and Lewis seek to provide a reassessment of White within the context of his own time, revising critical interpretations of his career. White was a promoter of and a participant in the Harlem Renaissance, a daily fixture in the halls of Congress lobbying for civil rights legislation, and a powerful figure with access to the administrations of Roosevelt (via Eleanor) and Truman. As executive secretary of the NAACP, White fought incessantly to desegregate the American military and pushed to ensure equal employment opportunities. On the international stage, White advocated for people of color in a decolonized world, and for economic development aid to nations like India and Haiti, bridging the civil rights struggles at home and abroad.
Wangari Muta Maathai is one of Africa’s most celebrated female activists. Originally trained as a scientist in Kenya and abroad, Professor Maathai returned to her home country of Kenya with a renewed political consciousness. There, she began her long career as an activist, campaigning for environmental and social justice while speaking out against government corruption. In 2004, Maathai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her leadership of the Green Belt Movement, a conservation effort that resulted in the restoration of African forests decimated during the colonial era.
In this biography, Tabitha Kanogo follows Wangari Maathai from her modest, rural Kenyan upbringing to her rise as a national figure campaigning for environmental and ecological conservation, sustainable development, democracy, human rights, gender equality, and the eradication of poverty until her death in 2011.
Looking beyond the national leadership of the suffrage movement, Susan Ware tells the inspiring story of nineteen dedicated women who carried the banner for the vote into communities across the nation, out of the spotlight, protesting, petitioning, and demonstrating for women’s right to become full citizens.
In Nahuatl yolqui is the idea of a warrior brought back from the dead. For author and activist Roberto Cintli Rodríquez, it describes his own experience one night in March 1979 after a brutal beating at the hands of L.A. sheriffs.
Framed by Rodríguez’s personal testimony of police violence, this book offers a historia profunda of the culture of extralegal violence against Red-Black-Brown communities in the United States. In addition to Rodríguez’s story, this book includes several short essays from victims and survivors that bring together personal accounts of police brutality and state-sponsored violence. This wide-ranging work touches on historical and current events, including the Watts rebellion, the Zoot Suit Riots, Operation Streamline, Standing Rock, and much more.
From the eyewitness accounts of Bartolomé de las Casas to the protestors and allies at Standing Rock, this book makes evident the links between colonial violence against Red-Black-Brown bodies to police violence in our communities today. Grounded in the stories of the lives of victims and survivors of police violence, Yolqui, a Warrior Summoned from the Spirit World illuminates the physical, spiritual, and epistemic depths and consequences of racialized dehumanization.
Rodríguez offers us an urgent, poignant, and personal call to end violence and the philosophies that permit such violence to flourish. Like the Nahuatl yolqui, this book is intended as a means of healing, offering a footprint going back to the origins of violence, and, more important, a way forward.
With contributions by Raúl Alcaraz-Ochoa, Citalli Álvarez, Tanya Alvarez, Rebekah Barber, Juvenal Caporale, David Cid, Arianna Martinez Reyna, Carlos Montes, Travis Morales, Simon Moya Smith, Cesar Noriega, Kimberly Phillips, Christian Ramirez, Michelle Rascon Canales, Carolyn Torres, Jerry Tello, Tara Trudell, and Laurie Valdez.