Soon We Will Not Cry: The Liberation of Ruby Doris Smith Robinson / Edition 1

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The success of the civil rights movement demanded extraordinary courage of ordinary people. During her short life, Ruby Doris Smith Robinson became one of the most important leaders in the black struggle for equality. By age 24, Robinson's intelligence, brashness, and bravery had elevated her to a top leadership role in the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Cynthia Griggs Fleming's beautifully written biography of this incredible woman demonstrates that Robinson's activism wasn't limited to racial equality—she was an equally eloquent and powerful voice for women's rights. Fleming provides new insights into the success, failures, peculiar contradictions, and unique stresses of Robinson's life. This book will appeal to all readers interested in African American and women's history.

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Editorial Reviews

The real strength of Flemings' book is its examination of major issues in civil rights, such as SNCC's debate over whether to focus on direct action or voter registration, and whether nonviolence was a philosophy or a tactic.
The Journal Of Southern History
This work deserves a serious reading by all persons intersted in the civil rights movement.
Fleming (history, U. of Tennessee-Knoxville) presents a biography of Robinson (1941-67), who became one of the most important leaders in the black struggle for equality and a top leader in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. She reminds readers that the activist fought for women's as well as black rights, and provides insights into her successes, failures, contradictions, and stresses. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Journal of American History
With subtlety and complexity, Fleming shows us how Robinson struggled to control the centrifugal force of the new developments and ideas that overtook SNCC between 1964 and 1967.
Multicultural Review
With the publication of this excellent biography, Smith should begin to receive some of the credit she deserves for a life devoted to the civil rights movement. Soon We Will Not Cry is a history of SNCC as much as it is a biography of Smith. Especially valuable is Fleming's sensitive treatment of the issues of gender and sexual relations within SNCC. This is a work that should be read by every serious student of the civil rights movement.
National Women's Studies Association Journal
For anyone teaching young people who are beginning to make life choices and somehow dream of contributing to a more just world, there couldn't be a more important book.
Florida Historical Quarterly
Cynthia Fleming paints an intricate portrait of female leadership in the modern Civil Rights movement. This biography of Ruby Doris Smith Robinson provides and illuminating explanation of the intersection of race, gender, and sex in a major civil rights organization. The book is well written and easy to follow. Anyone interested in the administrative history of the movement will enjoy this biography. This book also makes a valuable contribution to gender studies and to the literature of the Civil Rights movement.
The Journal of Southern History
This work deserves a serious reading by all persons intersted in the civil rights movement.
Julian Bond
Cynthia Fleming has recorded the story of one of the civil rights movement's unknown and unsung heroines for the first time. This book will be must reading for scholars and anyone interested in uncovering women's roles in the freedom struggle.
Howard Zinn
Ruby Doris Smith (that's how I knew her when she was my student at Spelman College), was a person with a rare power, a rock-like integrity, which moved and inspired countless people in The Movement. This biography accurately captures these qualities, and it should bring this extraordinary young woman to her proper place in the history of our time.
Angela Y. Davis
Cynthia Fleming has given us a provocative biography in which the woman whose memory was once a driving force for activists like myself emerges in all her strength, vulnerability, and complexity. Soon We Will Not Cry is a vital addition to civil rights literature.
Darlene Clark Hine
Cynthia Fleming's warm and sophisticated study of truly dynamic young Black woman activist and leader opens a new and important window onto the freedom struggle of the 1960s.
From the Publisher
A fine tribute to an energetic and demanding leader. Wofford College, Spartensburg, SC
The real strength of Flemings' book is its examination of major issues in civil rights, such as SNCC's debate over whether to focus on direct action or voter registration, and whether nonviolence was a philosophy or a tactic.
American Bookseller
By focusing on Ruby Doris Smith Robinson . . . Fleming offers an insightful look into the lives of young African-American women during the freedom struggle.
Fleming's work highlights the courage Ruby Doris brought to the many facets of her work with SNCC, her consistency in the face of external threats and internal organizational conflicts, and her unwavering commitment to the fight against oppression. In the examination of Ruby Doris' roles as activist, leader, student, wife, and mother, Fleming broadens her focus to include the complex issues of race and gender faced by black women activists during those years of struggle and change.
Wisconsin Bookwatch
A superb and meticulous scholarship combined with a natural flair for writing.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780847689729
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/28/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,339,432
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.58 (d)

Meet the Author

Cynthia Griggs Fleming is associate professor of history, African-American studies, and cultural studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She lives in Knoxville, Tennessee.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
A Note on Names xiii
Chapter 1 Soon We Will Not Cry 1
Chapter 2 Growing Up Black in Atlanta 13
Chapter 3 Early Movement Days 39
Chapter 4 Ruby Enters SNCC 69
Chapter 5 Freedom Summer and Sexual Politics 101
Chapter 6 The Final Phase of Activism 143
Chapter 7 Liberation 183
Chapter Notes 195
Index 217
About the Author 225
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