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A Little Taste of Freedom: The Black Freedom Struggle in Claiborne County, Mississippi (The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture) [Kindle Edition]

Emilye Crosby
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In this long-term community study of the freedom movement in rural, majority-black Claiborne County, Mississippi, Emilye Crosby explores the impact of the African American freedom struggle on small communities in general and questions common assumptions that are based on the national movement. The legal successes at the national level in the mid 1960s did not end the movement, Crosby contends, but rather emboldened people across the South to initiate waves of new actions around local issues.

Escalating assertiveness and demands of African Americans--including the reality of armed self-defense--were critical to ensuring meaningful local change to a remarkably resilient system of white supremacy. In Claiborne County, a highly effective boycott eventually led the Supreme Court to affirm the legality of economic boycotts for political protest. NAACP leader Charles Evers (brother of Medgar) managed to earn seemingly contradictory support from the national NAACP, the segregationist Sovereignty Commission, and white liberals. Studying both black activists and the white opposition, Crosby employs traditional sources and more than 100 oral histories to analyze the political and economic issues in the postmovement period, the impact of the movement and the resilience of white supremacy, and the ways these issues are closely connected to competing histories of the community.

Editorial Reviews


"A wonderfully evocative work of history that is a welcome--and needed--addition to the literature on the civil rights movement."
Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

Book Description

"A wonderfully evocative work of history that is a welcome--and needed--addition to the literature on the civil rights movement."--Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

Product Details

  • File Size: 4384 KB
  • Print Length: 376 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; 1 edition (November 21, 2005)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001KBYA2C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,310,896 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Growing up in Port Gibson, Mississippi, during the era of civil rights struggles and the crippling economic boycott of the 1960s, I often wondered if this would ever be objectively chronicled and who would write the story. Emilye Crosby has done an excellent job in her research, and with the exception of a few minor errors (such as contraditory mileage between Port Gibson and Fayette and the implication that no white churches other than the Catholic welcomed blacks to worship in the 1960s when St. James Episcopal church did--though no blacks attended St. James at that time), this is probably the best overall account of the civil rights situation in Claiborne County I have ever read. The lengthy footnotes and bibliography are proof that the author did her homework with accuracy and caution. While it is a story many of us would like to forget and in which some white merchants from the era who are still alive are not portrayed in a flattering way, the fact remains that those things DID happen, and the fact that many of the principals themselves were cooperative and willing to be quoted brings to light some progress made toward racial reconciliation in recent years. While the author could have shown less personal bias against the Main Street program and the author of the Port Gibson bicentennial history in her concluding pages, I would still recommend this book to anyone interested in civil rights history and what can happen when merchants of ANY color don't treat their customers or townspeople right. That the U S Supreme Court sanctioned the behavior of the NAACP by ruling in their favor when the case against them launched by the while merchants was decided is both a chilling tale AND a cautionary message about the power of economic boycotts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars highly reccommended April 30, 2006
Professor Crosby delivers both a gripping narrative on the black freedom struggle in a single county of Mississippi and a nuanced argument that the movement happened locally, even though little acts of protest and boycott could have huge reverberations. Especially valuable is her synthesis of white and black perspectives on local events, and continual analysis of the stakes involved in who tells "the story" of the "stormy" 60s in Mississippi. Highly reccommended to anyone interested in freedom movements, African American history, or studies of race relations.
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