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The resources below have been selected to support the University of Portland's Civil Rights Immersion program. The annotations are drawn from a variety of review and summary sources.
Burns, S. (1997). Daybreak of freedom: The Montgomery bus boycott. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.
The Montgomery bus boycott was a formative moment in twentieth-century history: a harbinger of the African American freedom movement, a springboard for the leadership of Martin Luther King Jr., and a crucial step in the struggle to realize the American dream of liberty and equality for all. In Daybreak of Freedom, Stewart Burns presents a groundbreaking documentary history of the boycott. Using an extraordinary array of more than one hundred original documents, he crafts a compelling and comprehensive account of this celebrated year-long protest of racial segregation.
Freedman, R. (2006). Freedom walkers: The story of the Montgomery bus boycott. New York, NY: Holiday House.
Covers the events surrounding and including the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the end of segregation on buses.
Hampton, H., Fayer, S., & Flynn, S. (1990). Voices of freedom: An oral history of the civil rights movement from the 1950s through the 1980s. New York, NY: Bantam Books.
The authors draw upon nearly one thousand interviews with civil rights activists, politicians, reporters, Justice Department officials, and hundreds of ordinary people who took part in the civil rights struggle, weaving a fascinating narrative of the movement told by the people who lived it.
McWhorter, D. (2001). Carry me home: Birmingham, Alabama, the climactic battle of the civil rights revolution. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.
"The Year of Birmingham," 1963, was one of the most cataclysmic periods in America's long civil rights struggle. That spring, Martin Luther King's child demonstrators faced down Commissioner Bull Connor's police dogs and fire hoses in huge nonviolent marches for desegregation -- a spectacle that seemed to belong more in the Old Testament than in twentieth-century America. A few months later, Ku Klux Klansmen retaliated with dynamite, bombing the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church and killing four young black girls. Yet these shocking events also brought redemption: They transformed the halting civil rights movement into a national cause and inspired the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which abolished legal segregation once and for all. Diane McWhorter, the daughter of a prominent white Birmingham family, brilliantly captures the opposing sides in this struggle for racial justice.
Sreenivasan, J. (2008). Koinonia Farm/Koinonia Partners. Utopias in American history (pp. 227-231). Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.
Describes the history and beliefs of the members of Koinonia Farm and its later incorporation as Koinonia Partners.
Chapin, H. and Meece, M. (Directors). (1988). Cotton patch gospel [VHS]. Columbia, MO: Bridgestone Production Group.
This award winning musical drama is a leg-slappin, toe-tappin, hand-clappin' hoe-down of a story that retells the Gospels of Matthew and John--translated into present day Southern vernacular. Based on the book "The Cotton Patch version of Matthew and John" by Clarence Jordan, co-founder of Koinonia Farm.
Hampton, H. (Executive Producer). (2006). Eyes on the prize: America's civil rights movement [DVD]. Atlanta, GA: PBS Home Video.
Vols. 1-3 tell the story of America's civil rights years from 1954 to 1965; vols. 4-7 examine the new America from 1966 to 1985, from community power to the human alienation of urban poverty.
Berry, E. (2005). Doing time: King's "letter from Birmingham jail". Rhetoric & Public Affairs, 8(1), 109-131.
The enduring rhetorical power of King's "Letter" has much to do with the way in which it responds to the central problem faced by the civil rights movement generally, and especially in Birmingham: is this the time for civil disobedience? King made the question of timeliness the central motif in his "Letter." In developing three interrelated conceptions of time -- "sacred," "personal," and "patriotic" -- King challenged his audience, both emotionally and intellectually, to achieve a new understanding of time and to fulfill its demands in a moment of crisis.
De Jong, G. (2005). Staying in place: Black migration, the civil rights movement, and the war on poverty in the rural south. Journal of African American History, 90(4), 387-409.
Discusses the migration of Africans in the U.S., the civil rights movement and the war on poverty in the rural south. Displacement of African American farm workers, inadequacies of state welfare programs, and formation of the Southwest Alabama Farmers Cooperative Association.
Finley, R. (2006). Crossing the white line: SNCC in three delta towns, 1963-1967. Arkansas Historical Quarterly, 65(2), 117-137.
The article chronicles the history of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in Arkansas. It was founded at a conference at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina in April 1960. A survey of the activity of the SNCC in three towns, Helena, Forrest City and Gould, can illustrate the range of the group's activities and experience in the Arkansas delta. Activists John Bradford and William Hansen, described the climate of fear cultivated by whites in Helena, during testimony before the Arkansas Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in January 1964. The empowerment campaign of the SNCC contributed to a turn in Arkansas' political history in 1966.
Hendrickson, P. (2005). The ladies before Rosa: Let us now praise unfamous women. Rhetoric & Public Affairs, 8(2), 287-298.
This article focuses on unfamous women involved in the history of the civil rights movement in the U.S. If there were justice, the world would know a lot about Aurelia Eliscerea Shines Browder. She loved to put up fruits and vegetables. She used to pluck ripe switches from the backyard to give the dickens to her kids when they needed it. She was a buxom woman who not only birthed 21 children of her own, but who somehow found the will and the means to finish high school in her thirties and then earn a degree with honors from Alabama State. Also, Jo Ann Gibson Robinson, a careful scholar and middle-class woman who came to Montgomery from Georgia in the late 40s to teach on the college level. In the 50s she ended up leading another critically important local organizing group called the Women's Political Council, which had been founded in 1946, when the League of Women Voters had refused to integrate. On the other hand, Geneva Johnson was a worshipper at Hall Street Baptist and loved big hats and big laughter and ran a floral shop at the back of her home at 1501 Mount Meigs Road, just over a bridge, on the historic east side. The spot is a weedy vacant lot now. Folks say she could do such wondrous and sensitive funeral arrangements for the African-American undertakers.
Lehman, C. P. (2006). Civil rights in twilight: The end of the civil rights movement era in 1973. Journal of Black Studies, 36(3), 415-428. doi:10.1177/0021934705280412
Despite inattention given to the civil rights movement in 1973, it was very much alive then. The major groups of the movement still existed. In addition, anticivil rights groups funded by Mississippi and Alabama taxpayers continued to spy on movement participants. However, both the movement and its opposition did not effectively adjust to federally imposed desegregation under the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. Their simultaneous disintegration in 1973 effectively ended the civil rights movement era.
Moore, A. S. (2005). Practicing what we preach: White Catholics and the civil rights movement in Atlanta. Georgia Historical Quarterly, 89(3), 334-367.
This article focuses on the white Catholics and the civil rights movement in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1958 the American Catholic hierarchy declared segregation a moral wrong that could not be tolerated. As Bishop Francis Hyland and the Atlanta Catholic experience suggest, a biracial Catholic Church potentially threatened that hierarchy. By applying the doctrine of the Mystical Body of Christ to society at large, Bishop Hyland and Atlanta Catholic educators reinforced the ecumenical foundation upon which many Georgia Catholics--the archbishop included--relied in their civil rights activism.
O'Connor, C. S. (2005). The politics of industrialization and interracialism in Sumter County, Georgia: Koinonia farm in the 1950s. Georgia Historical Quarterly, 89(4), 505-527.
The article provides information on the establishment of Koinonia Farm near Americus, Georgia. Clarence Jordan and Martin England established the farm in November 1942. As a non-denominational, non-profit, racially inclusive farm in Georgia, Koinonia continues to fulfill Jordan's mission of enfranchising the poor by providing jobs and affordable housing.