Synopses & Reviews
"Emotionally engaging, eye-opening, and thoroughly accessible, this historical memoir (published in association with the New York Times) illustrates how the personal becomes political by placing the author's individual battle for equal education in the context of the larger civil rights movement. Each chapter opens with front-page Times headlines, beginning with the election of President Barack Obama. Reflecting on the long journey to that historic moment, the author starts with the overturning of the 'separate but equal' doctrine in 1954. In 1959, Hunter-Gault applied to the University of Georgia, seeking to open up 'the lily-white system of public higher education.' Eventually admitted, she endured harassment and threats: classmates threw a brick through her window, chanting 'Two, four six, eight,/ We don't want to integrate.' Hunter-Gault highlights key political strategies in the struggle for equal rights (lunch counter sit-ins, the Freedom Riders, voter registration drives); explains philosophical differences between civil rights groups like the NAACP, SCLC, and SNCC; and emphasizes the great personal risks undertaken by individuals seeking change. A time line and several Times articles are included. Equal parts educational and inspiring. Ages 12 up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
A personal history of the civil rights movement from activist and acclaimed journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault. On January 20, 2009, 1.8 million people crowded the grounds of the Capitol to witness the inauguration of Barack Obama. Among the masses was Charlayne Hunter-Gault. She had flown from South Africa for the occasion, to witness what was for many the culmination of the long struggle for civil rights in the United States. In this compelling personal history, she uses the event to look back on her own involvement in the civil rights movement, as one of two black students who forced the University of Georgia to integrate, and to relate the pivotal events that swept the South as the movement gathered momentum through the early 1960s. With poignant black-and-white photos, original articles from the New York Times, and a unique personal viewpoint, this is a moving tribute to the men and women on whose shoulders Obama stood.
About the Author
Charlayne Hunter-Gault is a journalist and foreign correspondent for NPR. In 1961, she was one of two black students to desegregate the University of Georgia. She later went on to win two Emmy awards and a Peabody award for her work with PBS's The NewsHour. She currently divides her time between South Africa and Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.