The historic struggle for civil rights has revolutionized every apsect of American life--and is still shaping what it means to be free in a fast-changing global society. In My Soul Looks Back in Wonder, Williams presents the dramatic and uplifting stories of men and women who have been profoundly transformed by the experiences of the front lines of freedom,. Meet Jesse Epps, who witnessed the cold-blooded murder of a black man who refused to step aside for the white "town boss"--and then channels his rage into political action. Or Endesha Holland, a former prostitute whose chance run-in with civil rights icon Robert Moses in Mississippi sets her on a harrowing journey that leads to a Ph.D. Or Diane Wilson, a Texas fisherwoman who, inspired by the strugges of Vietnamese shrimpers, launches a crusade to save the Gulf Coast from big-time polluters. Published on the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's Brown vs Board of Educaion decision, My Soul Looks Back in Wonder is an intimate portrait of America at its best. As Williams writes, "In these pages you will meet extraordinary individuals who tapped into their personal power to become agents of change. They are those rare souls who, through sacrifice and risk, dared to take direct action to create a better America. They are American History." -B&N
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"More than 30 people tell personal stories about the nonviolent struggle for civil rights, then and now, not only the leaders but also ordinary citizens who bear witness to “transforming moments” when they suddenly found the courage to try to change things. David Dinkins, New York City’s first black mayor, served with the U.S. Marines in World War II; at home, he had to use the back of the bus. A white woman remembers herself as a child after the Birmingham murders (“My worst fear was that my father might be a member of the Klan”). David Halberstam provides an excellent overview; Williams’ brief, clear notes introduce each eyewitness account; and the combination of analysis and intimacy with powerful documentary photos makes for gripping narrative. Best of all are the connections with contemporary struggles for equality, including those of immigrants, the poor, and the disabled. Marion Wright Edelman’s final impassioned essay speaks for the millions of all races who continue to be “left behind in our land of plenty.”--Booklist… (more)