Protest at Selma: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Voting Rights Act of 1965

Open Road Media
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A thorough and insightful account of the historic 1965 civil rights protest at Selma, Alabama, from the author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning biography Bearing the Cross

Vivid descriptions of violence and courageous acts fill David Garrow’s account of the momentous 1965 protest at Selma, Alabama, in which the author illuminates the role of Martin Luther King Jr. in organizing the demonstrations that led to the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965.
 
Beyond a mere narration of events, Garrow provides an in-depth look at the political strategy of King and of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He explains how King’s awareness of media coverage of the protests—especially reports of white violence against peaceful African American protestors—would elicit sympathy for the cause and lead to dramatic legislative change. Garrow’s analysis of these tactics and of the news reports surrounding these events provides a deeper understanding of how civil rights activists utilized a nonviolent approach to achieve success in the face of great opposition and ultimately effected monumental political change.
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About the author

David J. Garrow is a Pulitzer Prize–winning historian who is presently professor of law and history and Distinguished Faculty Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Garrow, who earned his PhD from Duke University, is an acclaimed scholar of the United States’ black freedom struggle and reproductive rights movement, as well as of the US Supreme Court. His definitive biography of Martin Luther King Jr., Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, was honored with the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for biography and the seventh-annual Robert F. Kennedy Book Award.

Garrow’s other books are Protest at Selma: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, The FBI and Martin Luther King, Jr.: From “Solo” to Memphis, and Liberty and Sexuality: The Right to Privacy and the Making of Roe v. Wade. He also served as a senior adviser to Eyes on the Prize, the award-winning PBS documentary series on the civil rights movement.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Feb 17, 2015
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Pages
353
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ISBN
9781504011549
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Language
English
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Genres
History / African American
Political Science / Civil Rights
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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On June 25, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Shelby County v. Holder, invalidating a key provision of voting rights law. The decision—the culmination of an eight-year battle over the power of Congress to regulate state conduct of elections—marked the closing of a chapter in American politics. That chapter had opened a century earlier in the case of Guinn v. United States, which ushered in national efforts to knock down racial barriers to the ballot. A detailed and timely history, The Rise and Fall of the Voting Rights Act analyzes changing legislation and the future of voting rights in the United States.

In tracing the development of the Voting Rights Act from its inception, Charles S. Bullock III, Ronald Keith Gaddie, and Justin J. Wert begin by exploring the political and legal aspects of the Jim Crow electoral regime. Detailing both the subsequent struggle to enact the law and its impact, they explain why the Voting Rights Act was necessary. The authors draw on court cases and election data to bring their discussion to the present with an examination of the 2006 revision and renewal of the act, and its role in shaping the southern political environment in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, when Barack Obama was chosen. Bullock, Gaddie, and Wert go on to closely evaluate the 2013 Shelby County decision, describing how the ideological makeup of the Supreme Court created an appellate environment that made the act ripe for a challenge.

Rigorous in its scholarship and thoroughly readable, this book goes beyond history and analysis to provide compelling and much-needed insight into the ways voting rights legislation has shaped the United States. The Rise and Fall of the Voting Rights Act illuminates the historical roots—and the human consequences—of a critical chapter in U.S. legal history.
Three meticulously researched works—including Pulitzer Prize winner Bearing the Cross—spanning the life of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr.

This collection from professor and historian David J. Garrow provides a multidimensional and fascinating portrait of Martin Luther King Jr., and his mission to upend deeply entrenched prejudices in society, and enact legal change that would achieve equality for African Americans one hundred years after their emancipation from slavery.
 
Bearing the Cross traces King’s evolution from the young pastor who spearheaded the 1955–56 bus boycott in Montgomery to the inspirational leader of America’s civil rights movement, focusing on King’s crucial role at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Garrow captures King’s charisma, his moral obligation to lead a nonviolent crusade against racism and inequality—and the toll this calling took on his life.
 
Garrow delves deeper into one of the civil rights movement’s most decisive moments in Protest at Selma. These demonstrations led to the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965 that, along with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, remains a key aspect of King’s legacy. Garrow analyzes King’s political strategy and understanding of how media coverage—especially reports of white violence against peaceful African American protestors—elicited sympathy for the cause.
 
King’s fierce determination to overturn the status quo of racial relations antagonized FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. The FBI and Martin Luther King, Jr. follows Hoover’s personal obsession to destroy the civil rights leader. In an unprecedented abuse of governmental power, Hoover led one of the most invasive surveillance operations in American history, desperately trying to mar King’s image.
 
As a collection, these utterly engrossing books are a key to understanding King’s inner life, his public persona, and his legacy, and are a testament to his impact in forcing America to confront intolerance and bigotry at a critical time in the nation’s history.
 
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