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.
In this candid and engrossing memoir, he traces his evolution from political activist to activist scholar. He vividly recalls his involvement in the movement's heyday and in the subsequent turbulent period when King's visionary Dream became real for some and remained unfulfilled for others. He recounts his conversations with key African Americans of the past half century, including Black Power firebrand Stokely Carmichael and dedicated organizers such as Ella Baker and Bob Moses. His description of his long-term relationship with Coretta Scott King sheds new light on her crucial role in preserving and protecting her late husband's legacy.
Written from the unique perspective of a renowned scholar, this highly readable account gives readers valuable new insights about the global significance of King's inspiring ideas and his still unfolding legacy
This harrowing portrait of the Jim Crow South “proves how much we do not yet know about our history” (New York Times Book Review).
Caliph Washington didn’t pull the trigger but, as Officer James "Cowboy" Clark lay dying, he had no choice but to turn on his heel and run. The year was 1957; Cowboy Clark was white, Caliph Washington was black, and this was the Jim Crow South.Widely lauded for its searing “insight into a history of America that can no longer be left unknown” (Washington Post), He Calls Me by Lightning is an “absorbing chronicle” (Ira Katznelson) of the forgotten life of Caliph Washington that becomes an historic portrait of racial injustice in the civil rights era. Washington, a black teenager from the vice-ridden city of Bessemer, Alabama, was wrongfully convicted of killing a white Alabama policeman in 1957 and sentenced to death. Through “meticulous research and vivid prose” (Patrick Phillips), S. Jonathan Bass reveals Washington’s Kafkaesque legal odyssey: he came within minutes of the electric chair nearly a dozen times and had his conviction overturned three times before finally being released in 1972. Devastating and essential, He Calls Me by Lightning demands that we take into account the thousands of lives cast away by the systemic racism of a “social order apparently unchanged even today” (David Levering Lewis).
After the fierce battles of the 1960s, Dr. Height concentrates on troubled black communities, on issues like rural poverty, teen pregnancy and black family values. In 1994, her efforts are officially recognized. Along with Rosa Parks, she receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.