Deep in Our Hearts: Nine White Women in the Freedom Movement

Overview

Deep in Our Hearts is an eloquent and powerful book that takes us into the lives of nine young women who came of age in the 1960s while committing themselves actively and passionately to the struggle for racial equality and justice. These compelling first-person accounts take us back to one of the most tumultuous periods in our nation’s history—to the early days of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the Albany Freedom Ride, voter registration drives ...

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Overview

Deep in Our Hearts is an eloquent and powerful book that takes us into the lives of nine young women who came of age in the 1960s while committing themselves actively and passionately to the struggle for racial equality and justice. These compelling first-person accounts take us back to one of the most tumultuous periods in our nation’s history—to the early days of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the Albany Freedom Ride, voter registration drives and lunch counter sit-ins, Freedom Summer, the 1964 Democratic Convention, and the rise of Black Power and the women’s movement. The book delves into the hearts of the women to ask searching questions. Why did they, of all the white women growing up in their hometowns, cross the color line in the days of segregation and join the Southern Freedom Movement? What did they see, do, think, and feel in those uncertain but hopeful days? And how did their experiences shape the rest of their lives?

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"These essays—insightful, warm, funny, committed, illuminating—teach us as much about this country as about their authors, as much about the present as about the past. The book is a very important contribution toward helping us understand the freedom movement as human experience."—Charles Payne, Duke University

“An important contribution to the growing literature of the Civil Rights Movement."—Choice

"A powerful testament to a time when the goal of universal justice was in sight."—Library Journal

"These oral histories provide a range of perspectives on an important period. . . . Full of vivid insights into what really happened during those troubled times."—Booklist

"A wonderful portrayal of young women with deep and open hearts. They faced danger by daring to be traitors to their race and class; they also learned to face their own families and their fears. This is an invaluable and unique look at a hidden chapter in the history of the civil rights movement."—Julian Bond

"Riveting . . . Particularly powerful is the retrospective wisdom in the book, and the sharing about where the civil rights movement led these women.”—Other Side

"A marvelous collection of memoirs . . . Despite the voluminous scholarship on that movement, their stories constitute a missing piece of the puzzle, one that can only be known when it is told by those who lived it. . . . The early years of the civil rights movement have given us many images of courage and liberation. Deep in Our Hearts adds one more dimension to those stories with writing that is direct, honest, and occasionally lyrical."—Journal of Southern History

"A moving collection . . . For scholars of the movement, Deep in Our Hearts offers rich personal recollections of many of the movement's most famous events, from the story of organizing the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party to the frantic search for murdered civil rights workers during the summer of 1964. The collection would also be a wonderful tool in the classroom because the stories make clear how the lives of these young white women were forever changed by their involvement in the movement."—Alabama Review

Library Journal
In these absorbing essays, nine white women write about their experiences in the Freedom Movement of the 1960s and how it shaped their lives. They come from diverse backgrounds: Southern and Northern, poor and middle-class. Each discusses how her upbringing prepared her for participation in the movement, the exhilaration of fighting for justice during Freedom Summer at sit-ins or registration drives, her grief when whites were later expelled from the movement, and the lasting impact of the movement on her life. Also interesting is each contributor's perspective on gender issues during the Civil Rights era and her individual response to the nascent women's movement. All of the authors were connected to the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and knew each other slightly, which leads to some repetition of incidents when the book is read cover to cover. But, taken individually, each story is a powerful testament to a time when the goal of universal justice was in sight. An excellent choice for any library with a strong Civil Rights or women's studies collection.--Deirdre Bray Root, Middletown P.L., OH Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780820324197
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2002
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 807,097
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Read an Excerpt

From the Authors' Preface:

We are all very different: southern and northern; rural and urban; state university and Ivy League; middle class, working class, and poor. We were moved to our radical activities in various ways: by Marxism, Christian existentialism, and immigrant folk wisdom; by our grandmothers and the Constitution; by Thoreau and Dumas; by living on a kibbutz; by African freedom fighters; and by a Deep South upbringing. . . . Our book is about girls growing up in a revolutionary time and place. It is about love and politics and the transcendence of racial barriers. We offer this work to enrich the chronicle of a social movement that forever changed the country and our lives.

From the Foreword by Barbara Ransby:

These first-person accounts by white women activists represent a critical voice, yet one that has not been often heard. . . . This book breaks that silence. . . . Deep in Our Hearts gives us another lens through which to view the politics of race and gender in the civil rights movement [and] probes the themes of growth, discovery, friendship, and courage. . . . The real gift of these stories is a more optimistic legacy for a new generation of blacks and whites as they navigate the ever-volatile path of racial relations into the twenty-first century and, hopefully, take up the challenge that 1960s activists did of trying to make the world a better and more humane place.
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Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
Wild Geese to the Past 1
Shiloh Witness 37
Truths of the Heart 85
Sweet Tea at Shoney's 131
The Feel of a Blue Note 171
Circle of Trust 207
The Sent Us This White Girl 253
From Africa to Mississippi 289
Fields of Blue 333
Acknowledgments 377
The Authors 381
Index 387
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