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Voices of Freedom: An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement from the 1950s Through the 1980s Reissue Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0553352320
ISBN-10: 0553352326
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Voices of Freedom: An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement from the 1950s Through the 1980s
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  • The Eyes on the Prize Civil Rights Reader: Documents, Speeches, and Firsthand Accounts from the Black Freedom Struggle
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  • Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965
Total price: $48.32
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As the authors graphically show, participating in civil rights marches, sit-ins and Freedom Rides took moral stamina and raw nerve. The heroines and heroes of the movement receive a stirring tribute in this oral history, a tie-in to the TV series Eyes on the Prize , which Hampton produced and Fayer wrote. The book is organized in 31 chapters around key events, with demonstrators offering complementary perspectives. We hear from ordinary people along with well-known activists Ralph Abernathy, Rosa Parks, Jesse Jackson and Stokely Carmichael; public officials John Conyers and Nicholas Katzenbach; Black Panthers Huey Newton and Bobby Seale; Alex Haley, Coretta Scott King, Ossie Davis, Tom Hayden, Michael Harrington, Harry Belafonte. Collectively the testimonies reveal how far America has progressed in the drive for equality and how far it still has to go. History Book Club and QPB selections; author tour.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA-- This collection of remembrances and personal anecdotes is based on 1000 interviews and records 30 years of the struggle to achieve equality and gain civil rights for black people. Ordinary people who fought to attain their civil rights are recorded here, as well as the more well-known leaders on the civil rights front. From Selma, Little Rock, King's crusades, and the Boston school busing, to Miami, Atlanta, Cassius Clay, and Affirmative Action, both blacks and whites tell how they felt during these significant moments in history. This book, a companion to the PBS series Eyes on the Prize, is a "must purchase" for black history collections. --Gwen Salama, Hastings High School, Alief, I.S.D., TX
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 720 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reissue edition (February 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553352326
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553352320
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. Moritz on March 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
Starting with the murder of Emmett Till and ending with the political activism in the 80s, this book gives a moving overview of the civil rights movement. Each of the 31 chapters first gives a short summary of the events and then redraws the situation with eye-witness accounts. Many activists like Coretta Scott King, Harry Belafonte and members of the Black Panther Party, to name a few, give intriguing details. This moving book is easy to read and especially recommended for young people who need first hand information about the movement. Really recommended!
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Format: Paperback
VOICES OF FREEDOM: AN ORAL HISTORY OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT FROM THE 1950S THROUGH THE 1980s shows readers the steps that were taken to achieve equal rights for African Americans and all American citizens. All of the important actors, activists, politicians, and average individuals who attempted and succeeded to change a society that had been blinded for hundreds years, are mentioned and heard who helped many American citizens to gain the respect they rightfully deserved as citizens and human beings of the United States of America, and not ambiguous written clauses of the US Constitution referring to property.

Henry Hampton and Steven Fayer along with Sarah Flynn compile a host of significant people of the civil rights era of the 1950s to 1980s. With their testimonials and eyewitness accounts they share their collective memories of the past to clarify misconceptions and misinterpretations that involved the activism that existed to spearhead the civil rights movement. They also revealed the disjointedness and lack of effort to keep the momentum going and the bureaucratic ramblings hat slowed and deadlocked the movement during the late 1960s. Key figures and activists are mentioned, such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and his many cohorts who led the way toward a peaceful and non-violent movement as did the Black Panthers who were portrayed as militants, and who's history has been misconstrued with controversy. Indeed, both movements shared a common goal, which was to achieve freedom and equality.

The book begins with one of the major incidents that jump started the civil rights movement in the 1950s, the Emmett Till incidence in 1955. Other monumental events proceed, such as the discussion and explanation of Brown v.
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This is a fine collection of oral history. It is well arranged and therefore easy to follow the main historical narrative. For the researcher it is essential for the general public it is perhaps under edited. It also suffers from a rather sanitised view of history - more interviews from the opponents of civil rights, more information on Martin Luther King's indiscretions (which are not even mentioned) would create a rounder picture of the truly great man. I recommend this book because it is in the words of the people who made history, but maybe a little more of the fury and dirt would take us closer to the real events. Maybe because it was the source of a PBS TV series it suffers from the need to be over clean. But it remains a wonderful and often moving tribute to those incredible men and women who risked so much to create something like racial equality in the land of so called opportunity...
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Format: Paperback
Henry Hampton and Steve Fayer have collected a small sampling of civil rights oral history that has yet to be duplicated in a modern book on the era. They have included all of the key figures involved in the movement, Dr. King and Malcolm X, along with Stokely Carmichael, John Lewis and Andrew Young. What they have also done is give readers the non-famous persons perspective on the various events surrounding the movement. This has been invaluable to me in my research and a truly enjoyable read. It should be a must read for everyone!
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This is a companion to the PBS series, Eyes on the Prize. First-person statements give a picture that expands on the DVDs. Members of the Little Rock Nine recall events and tell their experiences during and after integrating Central High. Orval Faubus talks about school integration from his perspective. Mamie Till Bradley Mobley, Curtis Jones (Emmett Till's cousin), Myrlie Evers and others add to the horrific story we've become familiar with. Similarly, eyewitnesses for the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Mississippi Freedom Summer, the March to Selma, the Black Panther party, and many more share their recollections.

This is not a book to be read casually and set aside. Rather, if you are looking for an in-depth treatment of times that changed our nation for the better and if you want to better understand the struggle, you will return to this book countless times.
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I used the stories in this book to bring the civil rights movement alive in the classroom. Students loved hearing the voices and stories and it brought a better understanding of the struggles that people went through to gain the rights that students have today.
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Format: Paperback
Fantastic, relavent, engrossing.
Important and balanced information and first-hand accounts.
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If you haven't read "Voices of Freedom" you are missing out on a great read and some important history. Although most people know about the civil rights movement, this books goes beneath that and gets the stories from the people that were actually there, living in it everyday. I learned so much from this book than what was taught in school's history classes. It's extremely powerful to hear the emotions and stories from the people who's lives were affected by this movement. I highly recommend this book to everyone and will be sure my son reads it when he is older.
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