Let Freedom Ring: A Documentary History of the Modern Civil Rights Movement

Let Freedom Ring: A Documentary History of the Modern Civil Rights Movement

Let Freedom Ring: A Documentary History of the Modern Civil Rights Movement

Let Freedom Ring: A Documentary History of the Modern Civil Rights Movement

Synopsis

This book traces the story of the civil rights movement through the written and spoken words of those who participated in it. It includes both classic texts, such as Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech and his "Letter from Birmingham Jail," and lesser-known gems, such as Robert Moses' "Letter from a Mississippi Jail Cell" and James Lawson's address to SNCC's 1960 founding meeting. "This is a documentary collection that has been needed for a long time. The burgeoning interest in the civil rights movement argues for such a work, and the need to have the experience of the movement in the participants' own words demands it. Words counted during the civil rights movement, and Levy's collection . . . is the best and most accessible." Randall M. Miller Professor of History Director of American Studies Saint Joseph's University

Excerpt

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 . . .

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