Free at Last: What Really Happened When Civil Rights Came to Southern Politics

Margaret Edds, Author Adler & Adler Publishers $18.95 (277p) ISBN 978-0-917561-37-5
In this thorough, well-written study, Virginian Pilot/Ledger Star reporter Edds shows how the 1965 Voting Rights Act has transformed the South, bringing more than 2300 blacks to elected office by 1985. Yet the effects of that lawwhich protects black voting rightshave been mixed, and social and economic barriers persist, she writes. Edds's several hundred interviews in Deep South states provide an array of striking stories of changes in the past two decades: from Atlanta's rise as a ""mecca'' of racial harmony under black mayors Maynard Jackson and Andrew Young, to rural Alabama's growing black leadership despite the continuing political dominance of whites. Blacks hold mainly lower-level posts but are destined to play an increasingly aggressive role in Southern politics, argues Edds. (June 24)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1987
Release date: 06/01/1987
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