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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act (July 2, 1964), a landmark achievement in ending discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. The legislation overturned and outlawed the legalized racial segregation of “Jim Crow” and led the way for two other significant laws to be passed:  the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968. These achievements would not have been possible if it weren’t for the events, and more importantly the people, involved in bringing about this social change.

Freedom Summer: The Savage Season That Made Mississippi Burn and Made America a Democracy by Bruce Watson - This critically acclaimed history documents the events of the summer of 1964 when over 700 college students came to racially divided Mississippi to register black voters and educate children, despite the considerable risks. The first night, three students disappeared and were later found murdered. The killings shocked the nation and became a critical moment in the fight for civil rights.

The King Years:Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement by Taylor Branch - Branch presents selections from his Pulitzer Prize-winning trilogy in this one-volume work. He describes the major events of the civil rights movement and those who fought against the injustices of segregation and discrimination.

Death of Innocence:The Story of the Hate Crime That Changed America by Mamie Till-Mobley and Christopher Benson - Written by the mother of Emmett Till, this memoir recounts her fourteen-year-old son’s kidnapping and murder in 1955 which ignited the civil rights movement.

Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America by Gilbert King - Prior to Thurgood Marshall’s involvement in Brown v. Board of Education, he took on the case of the Groveland Boys in Lake County, Fla. This 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winner for General Nonfiction details the corruption involved in the arrest and trial of the four teenagers and how it reflected the racial divide of the time and the demand for civil rights reform.

Carry Me Home:Birmingham, Alabama: The Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution by Diane McWhorter - McWhorter’s Pulitzer Prize-winning account tells the story of 1963 in Birmingham, Ala., when children peacefully demonstrated for desegregation against the threat of violence.  Months later, the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing took place. McWhorter uses FBI records, archival documents, interviews with black activists and Klansmen and personal memories to document the events of this time and place.

We Shall Not Be Moved:The Jackson Woolworth’s Sit-In and the Movement it Inspired by M.J. O’Brien - O’Brien’s book tells the story behind the famous photograph, its participants and the movement it inspired in Jackson, Miss.

- Amanda Post, George Mason Regional Library


Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed the author talk on this subject at Chantilly Regional last week!

Fairfax County Public Library said...

thank you!