Outside Agitator

Outside Agitator

by Charles W. Eagles
     
 
Jon Daniels was one of the may white northern college students who went south in the 1960's to work for the civil rights movement. Daniels' involvement, however, had an unusual and tragic ending: on August 20, 1965, Tom L. Coleman, a fifty-two-year-old white man, shot and killed the activist in Hayneville, Alabama. The killing of Jon Daniels late in the summer of 1965

Overview

Jon Daniels was one of the may white northern college students who went south in the 1960's to work for the civil rights movement. Daniels' involvement, however, had an unusual and tragic ending: on August 20, 1965, Tom L. Coleman, a fifty-two-year-old white man, shot and killed the activist in Hayneville, Alabama. The killing of Jon Daniels late in the summer of 1965 was in many ways the last atrocity of the first, southern, nonviolent phase of the civil rights movement.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this detailed but readable book, Eagles (who edited The Civil Rights Movement in America ) fleshes out the 1965 killing in Alabama of white Episcopal seminarian Jon Daniels, which received little attention at the time because of the Watts riots and a subsequent New York newspaper strike. Eagles traces the New Hampshire background of the ``intensely self-critical'' Daniels, and his decision to join protests led by Martin Luther King in Selma. Daniels then became the first white civil rights volunteer in nearby Lowndes County. Eagles ably elaborates the white-supremacist history of isolated, backward Lowndes, as well as the growth of grass-roots civil rights activism there. Arrested for picketing local merchants and released, Daniels then led an interracial group to a store, where a local resident, Tom Coleman, shot him. Eagles speculates on why Coleman might have felt more threatened than others by the civil rights movement. An inept prosecution, coupled with defense lawyers playing to an all-white jury, assured Coleman's acquittal. This book, as well as the Episcopal Church's 1991 decision to cite Daniels as a martyr, serves as a measure of redress. Photos not seen by PW. (June)
Library Journal
More than four decades ago, political scientist V.O. Key Jr. observed in his classic Southern Politics in State and Nation that whites in Southern ``Black Belt'' counties were the most staunch supporters of racial segregation and white supremacy. Historian Eagles examines the events surrounding the shooting death of civil rights worker and Episcopalian seminary student Jon Daniels in one Black Belt county (Lowndes) of Alabama in 1965. Eagles's account of how Daniels came to be in Alabama and his work there is both well researched and emotionally moving. Readers seeking a broader overview of events in Alabama during this turbulent time may consult Carl Elliot Sr. with Michael D'Orso's The Cost of Courage: The Journey of an American Congressman ( LJ 2/1/92). A valuable addition to public and academic collections on the civil rights movement.-- Thomas H. Ferrell, Univ . of Southwestern Louisiana, Lafayette

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807844205
Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press, The
Publication date:
06/28/1993
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
5.54(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.95(d)

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