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My Soul Looks Back in Wonder: Voices of the Civil Rights Experience (AARP®) Hardcover – May 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Series: AARP®
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling; New title edition (May 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402714157
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402714153
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #877,791 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Part of the Voices of Civil Rights project, a collaboration between AARP and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights to build an oral archive, this book aims (and sometimes strains) to link the African-American struggle for freedom to others in its wake. Among blacks, we hear from Jesse Epps, who helped with the 1968 Memphis sanitation strike; journalist Vernon Jarrett, who covered a 1946 Chicago race riot where a mob tried to kill some black veterans; and Carol Swann, one of two black students to integrate the eighth grade in Richmond, Va. Among whites, we meet Diane McWhorter, who grew up white and upper-class in Birmingham, only to write a searing history of her hometown during the Civil Rights era, and Rachelle Horowitz, who worked closely with Bayard Rustin, organizer of the famed 1963 March on Washington. Less fitting are the stories of Sammy Lee, the first Asian-American to win an Olympic gold medal, who had to endure racism from his own coach, and of Jim Dickinson, a white record producer in Memphis who witnessed the black influence on rock music. While activists for Mexican-American rights and the environment are certainly admirable, here they don't link their work to the Civil Rights movement in the way, for example, a disability rights activist and gay Congressman Barney Frank do. Copious b&w photos evoke the Civil Rights era as well as some interview subjects. While Williams, an author and NPR senior correspondent, gets the authorial credit, he acknowledges that a team of reporters did the interviews. While this is a serviceable introduction, more focused oral histories are more rewarding. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

More than 30 people tell personal stories about the nonviolent struggle for civil rights, then and now, not only the leaders but also ordinary citizens who bear witness to "transforming moments" when they suddenly found the courage to try to change things. David Dinkins, New York City's first black mayor, served with the U.S. Marines in World War II; at home, he had to use the back of the bus. A white woman remembers herself as a child after the Birmingham murders ("My worst fear was that my father might be a member of the Klan"). David Halberstam provides an excellent overview; Williams' brief, clear notes introduce each eyewitness account; and the combination of analysis and intimacy with powerful documentary photos makes for gripping narrative. Best of all are the connections with contemporary struggles for equality, including those of immigrants, the poor, and the disabled. Marion Wright Edelman's final impassioned essay speaks for the millions of all races who continue to be "left behind in our land of plenty." Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By "dcfromdc" on June 24, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I saw this book on display at a large bookstore and i was instantly attracted to it by merely reading the first page. It tells of the personal first hand experiences of couragous men and women who throughout history have stood up against injustice. Though many accounts are from the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s many others are on the womens movement, native american, latin american and disability rights. This is the first book i have read by Juan Williams and after finishing it i have decided it will not be my last. Also after reading this book i feel empowered and confident just by reading the incredible experiences of others included in the book. I would DEFFINETLY reccomend this book. It is incredibly interesting from a historical standpoint, a civil rights standpoint and so many others. Go check out this book!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I used this book with my students, who were fascinated and inspired by the variety of stories. They were especially interested in reading the introductory poem/spiritual and comparing the struggles of the slaves with the struggles of the segregation era with the continuing struggles post-segregation. A good choice for high school and advanced middle-grade readers.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Such a great overview
Love reading Juan (and watching him on CNN)
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kim V. on July 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great short stories of people fighting for injustice of all colors and nationalites. Worth the time!
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