If you are looking for a great holiday gift you must check out Foot Soldiers For Democracy: The Men, Women, and Children of the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement. The book is edited by Dr. Horace Huntley and John W. McKerley with introductions from Rose Freeman Massey. Horace and Rose are 1970 alumni of African American & African Studies at the University of Minnesota and led the famous Morrill Hall Takeover of 1969. Their courageous actions led to the founding of the Department of African American & African Studies at the University of Minnesota.
Foot Soldiers For Democracy is firsthand accounts from the Civil Rights Movement's frontlines. Drawn from the rich archives of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, this collection brings together twenty-nine oral histories from people of varying ages and occupations who participated in civil rights activism at the grassroots level. These highly personal narratives convey the real sense of fear and the risk of bodily danger people had to overcome in order to become the movement's foot soldiers. The stories offer testimony as to how policing was carried out when there were no cameras, how economic terrorism was used against activists, how experiences of the movement differed depending on gender, and how youth participation was fundamental to the cause. Participants in the struggle ranged from teachers, war veterans, and a Black panther leader. This volume demonstrates the complexity and diversity of the spirit of resistance at a formative moment in American history.
"This outstanding work is an enormous contribution to the literature on the Civil Rights Movement, and it will provide rich material for debate as well as inspiration for years to come."
-Paul Oritz, author of Emancipation Betrayed: The Hidden History of Black Organizing and White Violence in Florida from Reconstruction to the Bloody Election of 1920.