Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

Too Proud to Bend: Journey of a Civil Rights Foot Soldier

Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

Too Proud to Bend: Journey of a Civil Rights Foot Soldier

Article excerpt

Too Proud to Bend: Journey of a Civil Rights Foot Soldier. By Nell Braxton Gibson. (Nell Braxton Gibson, 2014, Pp. xxix, 547. $20.00, paper; 15.00 Kindle.)

This personal memoir charts a revealing journey toward freedom. Growing up as a young girl in the Jim Crow South, Nell Braxton Gibson gives an illuminating and detailed account of her daily life and that of her family. Right away, a twenty-one year old Gibson recounts in the prologue her father's response to the assassination of Medgar Evers, a family friend and coworker in civil rights. The tense emotional arc of this story continues onward in chapter 1 with Gibson's recurring nightmare, as a fourteen month-old child, of what turns out to have been a violent race riot in segregated Beaumont, Texas. The rest of the story continues for some five hundred pages with its equally gripping accounts of both major events and players, as well as the seemingly more mundane challenges of day-to-day living. It is important, for example, to hear her responses as a teenager to the fate of the Little Rock Nine, and to events in Selma. Of particular interest, given my Midwestern, white, privileged upbringing, was the contrast which Gibson brings to light between growing up under Jim Crow's rules and regulations, and the somewhat freer air of summers spent as a teenager in the Northeast, mostly at a camp in the Catskill Mountains. …

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