One day the South will recognize its real heroes. They will be the James Merediths, courageously and with a majestic sense of purpose facing jeering and hostile mobs... they will be old, oppressed, battered Negro women, symbolized in a 72-year-old woman of Montgomery, Alabama, who rose up with a sense of dignity and with her people decided not to ride the segregated buses, and responded to one who inquired about the tiredness with ungrammatical profundity: "My feet is tired, but my soul is rested."... One day the South will know that... they were in reality standing up for the best in the American dream and the most sacred values in our Judeo- Christian heritage....
-- Martin Luther King, Jr., "Letter from Birmingham Jail"
This book traces a heroic struggle for freedom in America, the modern civil rights movement. It takes as its major premise Martin Luther King, Jr.'s pronouncement that the movement had a vast array of heroes, men and women, old and young, well-known and unknown, and that the words of these individuals, even when ungrammatical, counted. This book also seeks to display the veracity of King's argument that the modern civil rights movement stood up for the American dream and the most sacred values of western culture, that it sought to turn the ideals of the Declaration of Independence and Christian morality into a reality for all of