Duties, Pleasures and Conflicts: Essays in Struggle

Michael Thelwell, Author University of Massachusetts Press $27.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-87023-522-1
This is a sometimes embittered look at the civil rights movement by Thelwell, a longtime civil rights activist. In the frightening opening story, a black man who plans to organize a small Southern town is faced with a dilemma when one of his local workers is killed by whites: Should he milk the event for publicity or simply leave the family alone in its grief? A frank account of the famous 1964 March on Washington describes what, in the author's view, really happened: marchers carried ""official'' signs, picked up ``official'' programs and marched in an ``official'' manner; the cause, he claims, was made impotent because the government endorsed and manipulated it. There are general essays about blacks and their political power, black liberation and life in Mississippi as well as six critical essays (one by James Baldwin) on, among others, William Styron and Baldwin himself. The collection ends with a look at the Rev. Jesse Jackson's bid for the presidency. This is an important overview of the civil rights struggle reminding us in vivid terms that it continues today. (March)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1987
Release date: 03/01/1987
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