The Civil Rights Movement

Remembering and celebrating voices raised in protest.

 


 

The Lynching of Emmett Till: A Documentary Narrative

Edited by Christopher Metress

 

The 1955 abduction and murder of fourteen-year-old Emmett Till in Mississippi was the spark that would eventually ignite the Civil Rights Movement. Christopher Metress's chronicle of the brutal crime pairs a wealth of historical documents with thought-provoking works of poetry, fiction, and memoir. The voices of Eleanor Roosevelt, James Baldwin, and Bob Dylan are among those here responding to a moment that became a galvanizing symbol of the injustices of the Jim Crow South.

 


 

Breach of Peace: Portraits of the 1961 Mississippi Freedom Riders

By Eric Etheridge

 

The Supreme Court decision Boynton v. Virginia (1960) outlawed racial segregation on buses that crossed state lines. To test that ruling, black men and women took interstate buses into the segregated South in a bold challenge to the racist travel laws that remained in force. Some 70 of the more than 300 Freedom Riders who were arrested while risking their lives in 1961 tell their remarkable stories of courage and conviction in this collection of powerful images -- which includes their original mug shots.

 


 

Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama: The Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution

By Diane McWhorter

 

The Civil Rights Movement reached a crescendo in 1963, as marchers braved fire hoses, police dogs, vitriol, and violence to demonstrate against segregation in Birmingham, Alabama. The Ku Klux Klan retaliated by bombing the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, killing four young girls in the process. The reaction transformed the nascent movement into a national cause and led to the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. McWhorter, born in Birmingham, won the Pulitzer Prize for her insider's perspective on the conflict, which features interviews with everyone from black activists to former Klansmen.

 


 

The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Edited by Clayborne Carson

 

In fact, Martin Luther King, Jr. never wrote an official autobiography. But Stanford University historian Clayborne Carson, Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute, was granted unprecedented access to MLK's unpublished papers by the late Coretta Scott King in 1985. He artfully compiles King's words into this volume, capturing both the major Civil Rights milestones of the time and the everyday events that helped shape its brilliant, charismatic, and complex leader.

 


 

Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-1963

By Taylor Branch

 

The Civil Rights Movement was in many ways a grass-roots response to decades of oppression. But it was also the outcome of  carefully orchestrated political actions and behind-the-scenes negotiations between leaders who collaborated -- and sometimes competed. Branch's magnificent three-part series, which begins with Parting the Waters, renders the epic story of the movement's march to legal triumph.

April 21: " 'Pull' includes 'invitations to tea' at which one hears smiling reminders that a better life is available to people who stop talking about massacres..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.