The Thunder of Angels: The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the People Who Broke the Back of Jim Crow

By Donnie Williams; Wayne Greenhaw | Go to book overview

4
Hanging from the Stars

AT FIRST, Martin Luther King, Jr., was reluctant to be thrust into the position of president of the Montgomery Improvement Association—a position that entailed leading a massive boycott that would rock the Cradle of the Confederacy. He was a young husband, a new father, and a busy minister at his first church.

As a precocious youngster raised in the comforting arms of Atlanta's middle-class Ebenezer Baptist Church, where his father ruled the pulpit during the days of the Great Depression, young M.L. (as he was called as a boy) was known as the brilliant child with a beautiful voice who, on occasion, would rear back and sing a hymn. He grew up listening to his maternal grandmother tell stories from the Bible, and to his Daddy sharing recollections of the rough old days of growing up on a sharecropper's farm in rural central Georgia. King recalled later that his newfound friend and benefactor in Montgomery, E. D. Nixon, reminded him of his father's rough-hewn country ways, although both of the older men had reached maturity in an urban South they wished to change.

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The Thunder of Angels: The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the People Who Broke the Back of Jim Crow
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents vii
  • Author's Note ix
  • Preface - America's Bus xi
  • Preface - A Personal History xv
  • 1: Before the Beginning 1
  • 2: His Own Man 21
  • 3: A Reporter's Scoop 67
  • 4: Hanging from the Stars 89
  • 5: Rough Days and Dangerous Nights 115
  • 6: The White Preacher 137
  • 7: The White Establishment Uses the Law 147
  • 8: King on Trial 177
  • 9: In Federal Court 207
  • 10: A Long, Hot Summer 223
  • 11: [A Glorious Daybreak] 235
  • Epilogue 257
  • Acknowledgments 275
  • Notes and Sources 277
  • Bibliography 283
  • Index 287
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