In Peace and Freedom: My Journey in Selma

In Peace and Freedom: My Journey in Selma

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Bernard LaFayette Jr. (b. 1940) was a cofounder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), a leader in the Nashville lunch counter sit-ins, a Freedom Rider, an associate of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and the national coordinator of the Poor People's Campaign. At the young age of twenty-two, he assumed the directorship of the Alabama Voter Registration Project in Selma -- a city that had previously been removed from the organization's list due to the dangers of operating there.

In this electrifying memoir, written with Kathryn Lee Johnson, LaFayette shares the inspiring story of his years in Selma. When he arrived in 1963, Selma was a small, quiet, rural town. By 1965, it had made its mark in history and was nationally recognized as a battleground in the fight for racial equality and the site of one of the most important victories for social change in our nation.

LaFayette was one of the primary organizers of the 1965 Selma voting rights movement and the Selma-to-Montgomery marches, and he relates his experiences of these historic initiatives in close detail. Today, as the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act is still questioned, citizens, students, and scholars alike will want to look to this book as a guide. Important, compelling, and powerful, In Peace and Freedom presents a necessary perspective on the civil rights movement in the 1960s from one of its greatest leaders.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813144344
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
Publication date: 11/15/2013
Series: Civil Rights and the Struggle for Black Equality in the Twentieth Century
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 1,112,510
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Bernard LaFayette Jr. is Distinguished Senior Scholar-in-Residence at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, and the Chair of the National Board of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).

Kathryn Lee Johnson teaches in the School of Education at the University of Rhode Island. She has authored several books for educators on teaching, writing, and developing independent study skills.

Raymond Arsenault is John Hope Franklin Professor of Southern History at the University of South Florida. He is the author of several acclaimed and prizewinning books, including Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice, The Sound of Freedom: Marian Anderson, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Concert That Awakened America, and Arthur Ashe, A Life. He lives in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Table of Contents

Foreword John Robert Lewis ix

Preface xi

List of Abbreviations xiv

Prologue: The Road into Seima, Fall 1962 1

1 Preparing for Selma 3

2 Shackles of Fear, Handcuffs of Hopelessness 25

3 Preparing to Register to Vote 45

4 Central Alabama Heats Up 69

5 Mountains and Valleys 91

6 The March from Selma to Montgomery 119

7 Reflections on the Alabama Voter Registration Campaign 143

Epilogue: The Road Out of Selma, March 1965 147

Afterword Raymond Arsenault 149

Acknowledgments 153


A Example of a Literacy Test for Registering to Vote 157

B Excerpt from President Lyndon B. Johnson's Special Message to the Congress: "The American Promise" 159

C Dr. King's Six Principles of Nonviolence Related to Selma 165

D Life Dates of Some Persons Referenced in the Book 169

Chronology 171

Notes 177

Bibliography 181

Index 187

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"LaFayette, a product of the Nashville Movement, experienced extensive formal training in nonviolent techniques from the instruction of James M. Lawson Jr. Although the Selma Movement has drawn the attention of innumerable scholars, journalists, and participants, none have written about it as a successful experiment in Gandhian nonviolence learned in nonviolent workshops like the ones which Lawson operated. This is the vital and singular contribution that the LaFayette memoir offers to southern civil rights movement literature." — Dennis C. Dickerson, author of African American Preachers and Politics: The Careys of Chicago

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