Winner of the 2007 Oral History Association Book Award
Finalist, 2008 National Council on Public History Book Award
Using oral histories with African American activists and community leaders, Kim Lacy Rogers explores the civil rights movement in several Mississippi communities in the context of the region's history of white supremacy, racial oppression, and African American cultural vitality. Terrorism, black poverty, and economic exploitation led to a condition of collective trauma and social suffering for thousands of black Deltans in the twentieth century. This work reveals the impact of that oppression, and of African American traditions of community service and leadership in the lives of women and men who became activists. It also examines the disillusionment and anger that many Delta leaders feel about the changes that took place during the post-movement years.
Introduction: The Delta Oral History Project and the Stories of Lives * Part I: Survival Among Sharecroppers: Sunflower County * Conditions of Life and Death * Change and Movement Among the Poor * Part II: A Margin of Independence: Land Ownership in Bolivar County * Achievement in Bolivar County and the Struggle for Education * World War II and the Era of Massive Resistance * The Movement and Head Start * Part III: The Transformative Path of Service: Coahoma County
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