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From the Publisher
"We have all seen the photograph. Three weary protesters, wearing milkshakes and mustard, sit stoically as dozens of young white men gleefully harass them at a Jackson, Mississippi, Woolworth's lunch counter. The picture, taken by twenty-two-year-old Jackson Daily News photographer Fred Blackwell, captures the chaos of the May 1963 confrontation. . . .This extraordinary image inspired M. J. O'Brien's meticulously researched exploration of the tumultuous period of protest that engulfed Jackson for several weeks. A corporate communications executive with a passion for research, O'Brien spent two decades tracking down and interviewing more than three dozen protesters and their antagonists, including the reclusive Anne Moody, the unrepentant segregationist D. C. Sullivan, and a transformed Fred Blackwell in one of his only interviews about the picture. . . .O'Brien's interviews provide a richness of detail that will surprise and enlighten even those scholars intimately familiar with the Mississippi movement. . . .[S]cholars and lay readers alike will find much to learn and enjoy in this book. O'Brien's labor of love has produced a fascinating account of this important civil rights story."
--Chris Myers Asch, Journal of Southern History (Volume LXXX, No. 3; August 2014)
"It's all here: solid research, relevant history, honed prose. Masterpiece is not too grand a word to describe the excellence of M. J. O'Brien's enduring work."
--Colman McCarthy, former columnist for the Washington Post and now director, Center for Teaching Peace, Washington, D.C.
"Michael O'Brien has written a detailed history and fascinating study of one of the iconic moments of the modern civil rights movement and the powerful effect it had. . . . Avoiding the triumphalism of most civil rights history, O'Brien shows the human weaknesses common to us all, analyzing the emotions and maneuvering that characterized some of civil rights history. Readers will enjoy this behind-the-scenes look at an important event in movement history."
--From the foreword by Julian Bond, chairman emeritus, NAACP
"I was pleasantly surprised when I started reading Mike O'Brien's book about the Woolworth Sit-in in Jackson. I thought I knew that story pretty well, but soon realized that Mike (not a professional historian) had done about ten times the research I had done on Jackson, the Movement, Medgar Evers, the Kennedy Administration, the Citizens' Council, local black leadership--you name it. This book is full of new information and insights. And it is beautifully written, from the narrative of the sit-in itself to the detailed descriptions of the major players. This book will work especially well in undergraduate courses, either on the Movement or in U.S. survey courses."
--John Dittmer, author of Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi and many other works