Freedom Walk: Mississippi or Bust

Overview

Freedom Walk: Mississippi or Bust by Mary Stanton

In 1963, the streams of religious revival, racial strife, and cold-war politics were feeding the swelling river of social unrest in America. Marshaling massive forces, civil rights leaders were primed for a wide-scale attack on injustice in the South. By summer the conflict rose to great intensity as blacks and whites clashed in Birmingham.

In Freedom Walk: Mississippi or Bust, Mary Stanton ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (4) from $25.89   
  • New (2) from $25.89   
  • Used (2) from $52.75   
Sending request ...

Overview

Freedom Walk: Mississippi or Bust by Mary Stanton

In 1963, the streams of religious revival, racial strife, and cold-war politics were feeding the swelling river of social unrest in America. Marshaling massive forces, civil rights leaders were primed for a wide-scale attack on injustice in the South. By summer the conflict rose to great intensity as blacks and whites clashed in Birmingham.

In Freedom Walk: Mississippi or Bust, Mary Stanton chronicles deeply influential events that occurred outside the massive drive. Before the tumultuous summer of 1963, Bill Moore, a white mail carrier, made his own assault on racial injustice. Jeered and assailed as he made a solitary civil rights march along the Deep South highways, he was ridiculed by racists as a "crazy man."

His well-publicized purpose was to walk from Chattanooga to Jackson and hand deliver a plea for racial tolerance to Ross Barnett, the staunchly segregationist governor of Mississippi. Moore had kept a journal that detailed his goal. Using it, along with interviews and extensive newspaper and newsreel reports, Mary Stanton has documented this phenomenal freedom walk as seen through his eyes.

On April 23, on a highway near Attalla, Alabama, this one crusader was shot dead. Floyd Simpson, a grocer and member of the Gadsden, Alabama, chapter of the Ku Klux Klan, was charged with Moore's murder.

A week later a white college student named Sam Shirah led five black and five white volunteers into Alabama to finish Moore's walk. They were beaten and jailed. Four other attempts to complete the postman's quest were similarly stymied.

Although Moore was not a nobly ideal figure handpicked by shapers of the movement, inadvertently he became one of its earliest martyrs and, until now, part of an overlooked chapter in the history of the civil rights movement.

Freedom Walk: Mississippi or Bust tells the complicated, interwoven stories of Moore, Shirah, and Simpson. Though all three shared a deep love of the South, their strong feelings about who was entitled to walk its highways were in deadly conflict.

Mary Stanton, an assistant public administrator of the town of Mamaroneck, New York, is the author of several books and articles about the civil rights movement.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Stanton, who restored Viola Liuzzo to history in From Selma to Sorrow (1998), offers a moving, well-written portrait of another overlooked civil-rights warrior: mail carrier Bill Moore. Moore launched a now-forgotten one-man campaign for African-American equality with his own two feet: having previously walked from Baltimore to Washington to hand-deliver a letter to President Kennedy pleading for an end to segregation, he set out from Chattanooga, Tennessee, in April 1963 carrying a signboard reading "Equal Rights for All (Mississippi or Bust)." His plan was to walk along US Highway 11 through lower Tennessee, northern Georgia, and northern Alabama on to Mississippi, where he intended to deliver another letter to Governor Ross Barnett, appealing for tolerance "as white southerner to white southerner." Along the way, Stanton writes, Moore met a few more or less enlightened white folks, some of whom shook his hand, some of whom were somewhat sympathetic but nonetheless opposed. (One woman told him, "Look, I'm a Christian and I don't wish the niggers no harm, but you're dead wrong about this integration business.") A few days into his long walk, Moore was shot dead by an Alabama grocer and Klansman who was eventually acquitted of the murder. He was the first civil-rights worker to die in the line of duty, but not the last. Retracing his steps and quoting liberally from the diary he kept, Stanton honors Moore and his brave efforts while examining his troubled life as "an economic failure, a loner, and an atheist in a society which distrusted all three." (He'd been treated for schizophrenia as well.) She also traces the post-1963 trajectory of Moore's murderer, who "learned to live with alocal reputation of being 'the man who'd gotten away with murder,' a dubious distinction which caused him to be admired by some of his neighbors and avoided by others." A fine contribution to the literature of the civil-rights movement and to Southern history.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781604735406
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
  • Publication date: 1/23/2003
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Stanton, an assistant public administrator of the town of Mamaroneck, N.Y., is the author of From Selma to Sorrow: The Life and Death of Viola Liuzzo. Her work has appeared in Southern Exposure, Gulf South Historical Review, and Government Executive.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Introduction: Shadow History xiii
Part I The Postman's Walk
Walker 3
Student 10
Outsider 20
Patient 26
Activist 33
Crusader 42
Native 56
Agitator 61
Mixer 65
Victim 73
The Suspect 76
White Americans React 82
Black Americans React 91
The Civil Rights Establishment Reacts 93
Part II The Freedom Walk
Passing the Torch 99
Day One 104
Day Two 112
Day Three 119
Alabama Reacts 128
Freedom Now! 135
Without Remorse 140
Danville 145
Cognitive Dissonance 149
Another Direction 156
White Shadow of SNCC 167
Freedom Summer 171
Moving On 183
A March against Fear 195
Epilogue: Highway 11 Revisited 201
Appendix 1 The Walks and the Walkers 209
Appendix 2 Timeline 211
Notes 223
Bibliography 235
Index 243
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)