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Black studies
American history

Down to the Crossroads: Civil Rights, Black Power, and the Meredith March Against Fear

Aram Goudsouzian.
Publisher FSG  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.25 x 6.3 x 1.15 inches
ISBN 9780374192204
Pages/Publication Date 351/2014
Daedalus Item Code 54498
This item is not available.
In 1962 James Meredith became a civil rights hero when he enrolled as the first African American student at the University of Mississippi. Four years later he would make the news again when he re-entered Mississippi, planning to walk from Memphis to Jackson in a "March Against Fear" that would promote black voter registration, until on his second day he was shot by a mysterious gunman, touching off one of the central dramas of the civil rights era. Memphis-based historian Aram Goudsouzian tells how, with Meredith in the hospital, the leading figures of the civil rights movement flew to Mississippi to carry on his effort, and soon found themselves confronting southern law enforcement officials, local activists, and one another.

"Estimably well-researched and pitch-perfect.... Goudsouzian's well-written book is a model of authoritative and jargon-free scholarship."—Washington Post

"Though he was viewed as a civil rights champion for his 1962 campaign to integrate Ole Miss, when James Meredith undertook his long walk across Mississippi to encourage voter registration by black citizens in 1966, he was not regarded as a civil rights leader. His loner status kept him out of the inner circle of recognized leaders, yet when he was nearly assassinated one day into the walk, luminaries from Martin Luther King Jr. to Stokely Carmichael stepped in to take up the march, ultimately making it a turning point in the civil rights movement. Goudsouzian examines the tensions that were brewing between King, Carmichael, and others as the movement sorted itself into different philosophical camps—primarily integrationists versus separatists—with corresponding debates about the most effective strategies, setting the stage for the next phase of the era and the rise of the black power movement. He highlights the contentious debates among movement leaders, the courage they inspired among rural demonstrators, and the fierce resistance they faced from segregationists."—Booklist

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