Free at Last?: The Civil Rights Movement and the People Who Made It

Fred Powledge, Author Little Brown and Company $29.95 (711p) ISBN 978-0-316-71632-1
Powledge's intimate knowledge of the civil rights movement, which he covered for the New York Times and the Atlanta Journal , shines through on every page of this massive chronicle. An essential sourcebook, it blends a perceptive narrative with the stirring oral testimonies of diverse participants. Prior to the movement, black Southerners lived in a police state, a place where violence could be visited upon them at any moment. Powledge traces the black rebellion that percolated for years before 1954, then he documents the massive resistance of whites, both Southern and Northern, to blacks' growing demands for equality. He blasts the Kennedy administration for its waffling and its willingness to tolerate racism in several areas, and he highlights crucial differences between movement strategies in the South and in the North, where ``the opposition was hidden and diffuse.'' Those still struggling to break down discriminatory barriers will glean from this inspirational resource a sense of connectedness to history. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/04/1991
Release date: 02/01/1991
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