On January 15, when we celebrate the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.— this year on his actual birthday — we will undoubtedly also recall that it has been 50 years since his death.
He was killed on April 4, 1968. Nearly everyone who was alive then remembers where and how he or she heard the news. (I was listening to the radio in our kitchen near Charleston, W.Va., while my brother was at a Temptations concert in town.)
If King were alive today, he would probably rejoice at the progress made in civil rights, not just for African Americans, but also for other racial and ethnic groups, for women, the disabled and LGBTQ citizens. He would probably also be saddened by the persistent -isms in many corners of society. On the heels of the passing of the new tax bill benefitting corporate America, he would probably be heading up the same kind of occupation of Washington, D.C., that he envisioned for the Poor People’s Campaign he was planning when he died. To honor his legacy, we can reflect on the contributions he and others made on behalf of freedom and justice.
DiverseBooks.net offers discount prices on a variety of titles to enhance your knowledge of these topics and to provide resources for course work. Here are some selections from our publishers (previously reviewed on this site):
The Civil Rights Movement in America, edited by Charles W. Eagles, $22.50 (List Price: $25), University of Mississippi Press, ISBN: 9780878052981, pp. 144.
This is a collection of papers by scholars analyzing the Civil Rights Movement, including its reason for being, its leaders, tactics, successes and failures. An assessment from another scholar follows each paper. With 120 color photographs, this is a limited, signed, hand-numbered edition in a clamshell box.
The Unfinished Agenda of the Selma-Montgomery Voting Rights March, edited by William E. Cox, $13. 24, (List price: $24.95), Wiley, February 2005, ISBN: 9780471710370. pp. 240.
Published in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Selma-Montgomery march that changed the history of voting in the United States, this is a collection of original essays and narratives reflecting on the progress and lack thereof in civil rights since 1965. Contributors include: Joseph E. Lowery, John Lewis, Clayborne Carson, Andrew Young, Bill Clinton, Lani Guinier, Ella Baker, Theodore M. Shaw, Manning Marable and many others.
Freedom Walk: Mississippi or Bust, by Mary Stanton, $31, (List Price: $35) University of Mississippi Press, ISBN: 9781578065059, pp. 272.
In 1963, Bill Moore, a white mail carrier, made a solitary march with the intention of walking from Chattanooga, Tennessee, to Jackson, Mississippi. He planned to hand deliver his plea for racial tolerance to Gov. Ross Barnett. He was heckled and jeered at along the way, then shot dead near Attalla, Alabama, making him one of the earliest martyrs of the Civil Rights Movement. A Ku Klux Klansman was charged but acquitted of the murder. Volunteers made repeated unsuccessful attempts to complete the march. The author pieced together the story, drawing on a journal Moore kept, as well as interviews and news reports of the time.
Race, Reform, and Rebellion: The Second Reconstruction and Beyond in Black America, 1945-2006, Third Edition, by Manning Marable, $22.50, (List price: $25) University of Mississippi Press, ISBN: 9781578061549, pp. 320.
A political and social history of African Americans after World War II and into this century, this book has been acclaimed as an essential text in its subject area. It examines the impact of events like the Million Man March, 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, as well as such phenomena as black neo-conservatism, welfare reform and hip-hop culture. He traces black culture from the period when a strong working class was taking hold in the cities, through the turbulent 60s when the Civil Rights Movement, Black Power and urban riots upturned the status quo, then the 70s and 80s as blacks gained political power, and into the era where urban unemployment, drugs and poverty decimated and defined cities.
Changing Channels: The-Civil-Rights Case That Transformed Television, by Kay Mills, $28.80 (List price: $32), University of Mississippi Press, ISBN 9781578065196, pp. 232.
The author, who has written previously about women ‘s history and journalism, documents a groundbreaking case that began in 1964 when the Office of Communication of the United Church of Christ and two black Mississippians, Aaron Henry and the Reverend R. L. T. Smith, challenged the broadcasting license of a television station in Jackson, Mississippi. They charged that WLBT, an NBC affiliate, failed to cover the biggest news story in town, the brewing civil-rights battle. After numerous setbacks, the challengers succeeded in having the station management stripped of its right to broadcast on public airways, setting the stage for reforms at that station and broadcast outlets across the country.
Photographs from the Memphis World, 1949-1964, edited by Marina Pacini and David MCarthy, $21.60 (List price: $24), Memphis Brooks Museum of Art/University of Mississippi Press, ISBN: 9780915525102, pp. 135.|
The Memphis World, one of the leading black newspapers in the South, presented images of the triumphs and tragedies of its community in an era of social change. It captured the richness of African American life from the 1930s to the 1970s as seen through the lens of such noteworthy photographers as Ernest Withers, Mark Stansbury, Hooks Brothers Photography and R. Earl Williams. The book was published in conjunction with an exhibition at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, which acquired the Memphis World collection in 2006. This volume includes 56 photos accompanied by essays.
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