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A Traveler's Guide to the Civil Rights Movement based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
This book is fascinating even if you never leave home. It's both a travel guide and a reference for anyone wanting to learn more about the Civil Rights Movement. But it's not limited to modern times; like many historians, the author takes the view that the struggle for civil rights began the moment the first enslaved African set foot on these shores and tried to break free. And it continued anywhere that people fought for dignity and equality. Consequently, the sites described here include sites of slave rebellions, legal battles, Underground Railroad safe houses, historially black colleges, churches, museums...even the minor league stadium in Florida where Jackie Robinson broke through the color line. I particularly enjoyed the author's honest and opinionated style. Black history has been overshadowed by white interpretation for a very long time, even in locations where the majority population was black. Visit a Southern plantation and you will learn about the lifestyle of the owners, but very little about the slaves who made that lifestyle possible. You may ogle the beautiful handcrafted furniture, yet never be told that a black artisan created it. He notes that much depends on which particular docent you end up with. Regarding Monticello, he says '...some guides more comfortable with the old Jefferson story of his inventions and quirks acknowledge the Hemings affair in clipped tones. Others discuss it volubly.' The National Park Service is among those working toward a more inclusive interpretation of their historic sites, and Carrier tells us when changes are planned. He provides web sites for further study. He also writes about planned memorials. Women are equally represented here. For example, he notes that the Montgomery bus boycott was Jo Ann Robinson's brainchild and that a 'reluctant' Martin Luther King Jr. was brought in to head the movement the day after the Women's Political Caucus had distributed leaflets to every business and church in town. He also notes that despite black women's long history of struggle for civil rights, the male leadership refused to allow any to speak at the 1963 March on Washington...in fact, Coretta King and other wives weren't wasn't even allowed to march with their husbands. '...after all their work and sacrifice, deliverate rebuff by male activists was unforgivable' he says. A book that belongs in every high school library!