Refuse to Stand Silent

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All the men and women who tell their stories in Refuse to Stand Silently By played critical roles in some of the first--and most decisive--struggles for social justice America has experienced in this century. Yet none of them were elected or otherwise sanctioned to act on behalf of others. These are people who faced injustice and refused to stand silently by and allow it to continue. In this engrossing oral history they give not only firsthand reminiscences of seminal events in the American labor and civil rights...
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Overview

All the men and women who tell their stories in Refuse to Stand Silently By played critical roles in some of the first--and most decisive--struggles for social justice America has experienced in this century. Yet none of them were elected or otherwise sanctioned to act on behalf of others. These are people who faced injustice and refused to stand silently by and allow it to continue. In this engrossing oral history they give not only firsthand reminiscences of seminal events in the American labor and civil rights movements, but forthright narratives of their lives, their family and educational backgrounds, their early influences, and the unlikely roads that led them to activism. Through their words, a history of grass roots social activism in America emerges. Rosa Parks tells of the days preceding the 1955 Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott, precipitated by her refusal to give up her seat on a city bus. At that time she was a member of the Montgomery NAACP, struggling to help blacks register to vote in the face of poll taxes, racist registration committees, and the Ku Klux Klan at the polls. Her memories detail the period that would, in many ways, fuel blacks' outrage in the South during the decades that followed. Pullman-car porter Edgar Daniel Nixon remembers how a boyhood exposure to integration in a Northern train-station cafeteria set him on a course that would one day compel him to defy a Southern white passenger who demanded, "Go get that bag, boy!"--and to dedicate his life to the causes of labor and civil rights. Julian Bond recollects his experiences as a Northern-born middle-class black who organized student protestors in the strife-ridden South of the early 1960s. And Studs Terkel recalls his beginnings as a writer and social observer, and reflects on what we can learn from both the labor and the civil rights movements. These remarkable individuals are among the many here who recount risking arrest--and often their lives--in order to battle the societ
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385175739
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/1/1993
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 6.09 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction
Acknowledgments
Ch. 1 1900-30: Childhoods That Produced Leaders of Unprecedented Social Change 1
Septima Clark 3
Edgar Daniel Nixon 22
May Justus 29
Ralph Tefferteller 46
Don West 62
Ch. 2 1930-40: The Place and the People That Transformed "I" into "We" 73
May Justus and Don West 75
Zilla Hawes Daniel 89
Ralph Tefferteller 102
Lucille Thornburgh 119
Ralph Helstein 129
Ch. 3 1940-50: The War That Turned Industry's "Labor Problems" into Short-Term Solutions 143
Ralph Helstein 145
Rosa Parks 158
Bernice Robinson 171
Lucille Thornburgh 191
Don West 194
Pete Seeger 200
Ch. 4 1950-61: When Segregation and the Self-punishment of a Nation Were Called "Patriotism" 209
Pete Seeger and Don West 211
Edgar Daniel Nixon 219
Rosa Parks 229
Septima Clark and Bernice Robinson 236
Ralph Helstein and Lucille Thornburgh 255
Bernice Robinson and May Justus 264
Ch. 5 1960-70: Highlander's Influence on a New Generation of Revolutionary Leaders 273
Pete Seeger 275
Andrew Young 279
Dorothy Cotton 284
Bernice Robinson 297
Septima Clark 302
Julian Bond 315
May Justus 334
Ch. 6 A Retrospective: Where Are We Going? Where Have We Been? 341
Studs Terkel 343
Julian Bond 359
Bernice Robinson 368
Don West 371
Edgar Daniel Nixon 375
Andrew Young 382
Dorothy Cotton 388
Septima Clark 396
Pete Seeger 400
Afterword 409
Biographical Profiles 415
Index 419
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