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Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me 'Round: A Coming of age story and a personal account of the Civil Rights Movement in Hattiesburg, Mississippi [Kindle Edition]

Anthony Harris
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The book is a coming of age story and a personal account of the Civil Rights Movement in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, as witnessed and experienced by the author. It contains stories about the individual and collective struggle for equality in a small Mississippi town. The book features and honors those unsung heroes whose bravery and example contributed significantly to the movement. The book tells the story of a young boy whose life is influenced by the movement that contributed significantly to his development and coming of age from childhood to adulthood.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

About the author Dr. Anthony J. Harris The author was born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi in 1953. During his pre-teen and teen years he was an active participant in the local Civil Rights Movement. After graduating from high school in 1971, he attended the University of Southern Mississippi where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish in 1974 and a master’s degree in Counseling in 1976. In 1979, he moved to Commerce, Texas to pursue a doctorate in Counseling at East Texas State University (now Texas A&M University-Commerce). After completing his doctorate degree in 1982, he remained at Texas A&M University-Commerce for 17 years, serving in a variety of positions, including Director of the Counseling Center, Associate Professor, Assistant to the President, and Associate Vice President for Resource Development. As a leader in the City of Commerce, he served for 15 years as a member (six years as chair) of the Board of Trustees of the Commerce Independent School District. In 1988, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation selected him to participate in the 9th Class of the Kellogg National Fellowship Program, which allowed him to hone his leadership skills and to visit 17 countries, primarily in developing and Third World countries. Following the completion of the Fellowship in 1991, he established Project Keep Hope Alive, a successful after school mentoring program for at-risk African American boys in the Commerce Independent School District. From 1999 to 2002, he served as Executive Assistant to the President at the University of Southern Mississippi under the leadership of the late President Horace Fleming. After leaving the University of Southern Mississippi in 2002, he returned to Texas and served as Associate Professor of Education at Sam Houston State University, where he remained until 2008. Since 2008, he has served as Professor of Education at Mercer University. He is the author of the book, Gifts of Moments: Being Somebody to Somebody. He and his wife, Smithenia, have two adult children, Ashley and Michael. Dr. Harris can be contacted at

Product Details

  • File Size: 701 KB
  • Print Length: 296 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 10, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CBLA3E4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #919,455 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me 'Round by Anthony Harris January 16, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Anthony Harris and I were classmates from our 8th grade together through our 11th grade. What he writes here reads in line with the facts, true to the texture, and authentic to how things were then.

In this book he pays close attention to the details. He dramatizes the struggles, and demonstrates that struggles continue. And it comes out, (without his saying so), that this is a man who keeps on giving.

Reading this was another one of those times that I got lucky when I found out about a book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars So on point! July 26, 2013
By Don
Dr. Anthony Harris' book is so on point. I lived a block over from him when I was in elementary school and could actually see their house from ours. We lived the same life in Hattiesburg, including going to Freedom School and working in the Movement, and I can say without a doubt that he captures the culture, the events, and the times in a way that is true to life. You get authentic history when you read his story. Just as I got the feeling that Clifton Taulbert's first book was a book whose content was my story, the same goes for Ant's book, which is his second. I'm just pleased that he cared deeply enough about the people to invest the time and that he had the excellent writing skill, the voice, and the mind's eye to be able to produce this great work.

Hattiesburg's historic Mobile Street has already garnered the placement of a "Bench By The Road" that was installed by the Toni Morrison Society in honor of Freedom Summer. Now, we have a great book by native son, Dr. Anthony J. Harris. If you're interested in knowing what it was like to live through the Civil Rights experience as a young foot soldier and reading a memoir of one who made good on the investment of courage that his people made, this is the book for you. He didn't let nobody turn him around, and when that great gettin up morning came, Anthony Harris moved out into the world, made his family ancestors and his people proud, and redeemed the sacrifices they made.

Don Denard
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
When Anthony Harris was a little fellow, his hometown had gone through a lot, some 100 years of continued insult to the black people, insult and injury that was supposed to have ended with the Civil War. As detailed in his "Ain't Nobody Gonna Turn Me Around," now it was the summer of 1964, 99 years since that war had ended, and most black people could still not vote. In spite of the pride the black people had in their own teachers and schools, most of the adults in town could not pass the required reading 'quizzes' to enable them to vote. The rights cards were stacked against every child who grew up in the city.
Then, in the mid-to-late 1950s the rumblings of the Civil Rights movement began to touch Mississippi. In the summer of 1964, Anthony and his friends experienced the presense of the freedom riders and that group's next wave of help, namely college kids and other adults who came to augment freedom school staffs, to tutor the black children of all ages and to walk adult black people shoulder to shoulder to the voting registration office.
Anthony details this era from his nine year old eyes and experiences both as he learned them from his position at the front of the picket lines as well as from his father's prideful sound advice and his mother's teaching and example.
When Anthony's mother Mrs. Daisy Harris, called me a few weeks ago to alert me to this new and exciting book, I jumped on the purchase of three copies from Amazon Books and gave one to a teaching colleague at my high school to read.
My roommate from college Richard Kelly of Chicago went to Hattiesburg as a Freedom School teacher in that summer and stayed for a whole year in the city in the homes of Civil Rights activists there.
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More About the Author

Dr. Anthony J. Harris is an author, lecturer, and tenured professor at Mercer University. His publications include more than a dozen peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. In addition, he is author of 3 books: (1) Gifts of Moments: Being Somebody to Somebody (Inspirational); (2)Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me 'Round: A coming of age story and a personal account of the Civil Rights Movement in Hattiesburg, Mississippi (Autobiographical); (3)Fruits of a Disgraced Legacy (Fiction). Fall 2014, he will release his fourth book, It's What's on the Inside (Children's).

He has lectured in a number of venues, including events sponsored by the Atlanta Jewish Committee, William Carey University, Texas A&M University-Commerce, The University of Southern Mississippi, The African American Military Museum, and The John Cooper School (The Woodlands, Texas).

Dr. Anthony Harris received his bachelor' degree in Spanish and master's degree in counseling from the University of Southern Mississippi. His doctorate degree is in Counseling from East Texas State University - now Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Dr. Harris was a W.K. Kellogg Foundation Fellow from 1988 to 1991. As a Kellogg Fellow, he traveled to seventeen countries, including Kenya, South Africa, Namibia, Swaziland, Cuba, Egypt, Greece, and Venezuela.

He founded Project Keep Hope Alive, an after-school mentoring program for African American boys in Commerce, Texas, where he also served a school board member for fifteen years, 6 as board chair.

Dr. Harris served as Mentor for the 1999-2002 Class of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund for Educational Leadership; and he is an alumnus of the Millennium Leadership Institute, a college president preparation program sponsored by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

Dr. Harris was an active participant in the civil rights movement in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He desegregated Thames Junior High (1966); was jailed for picketing Forrest County Courthouse; and participated in Freedom School - Summer '64 in Hattiesburg. He will appear in the PBS Documentary - Freedom Summer, which will air June 24, 2014 on American Experience.

On January 22, 2014, Dr. Harris was a keynote speaker at the 50th Anniversary re-enactment of the Freedom Day March that took place in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, January 22, 1964. Harris participated in both the original march and the anniversary march.


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