Beginning with A. Philip Randolph's defiant call in 1941 for African-Americans to march on Washington and ending with a retrospective article written by Alice Walker in 1973, Reporting Civil Rights covers the revolutionary events that overthrew segregation by law in the United States. This two-volume anthology brings together nearly 200 newspaper and magazine reports, book excerpts, and features by 151 writers, including James Baldwin, Robert Penn Warren, David Halberstam, Lillian Smith, Gordon Parks, Murray Kempton, Ted Poston, Claude Sitton, and Anne Moody. Together they comprise a firsthand chronicle of a tumultuous era and its key events: the rising determination of African-Americans in the 1940s to oppose segregation and injustice; the crucial Brown decision on school segregation; the Montgomery bus boycott; the sit-in movement and Freedom Rides; Birmingham, the Mississippi Freedom Summer, and Selma; the Watts, Newark, and Detroit riots; the emergence of Black Power; and the beginning of affirmative action.
Roi Ottley, Sterling Brown, and Pauli Murray record African-American anger during World War II; Carl Rowan closely examines the school segregation cases; Dan Wakefield and William Bradford Huie describe in horrifying detail the savage murder of Emmett Till; Ted Poston provides a fascinating early portrait of Martin Luther King; and Relman Morin and James Hicks vividly evoke the terrors of mob rage in Little Rock.
In the early 1960s, John Steinbeck witnesses the intense hatred expressed by anti-integration protesters in New Orleans; Julian Mayfield profiles the controversial militant leader Robert Williams; Charlayne Hunter recounts the hostility she faced at the University of Georgia; Raymond Coffey records the determination of jailed children in Birmingham; Marlene Nadle, Russell Baker, and Ekwueme Michael Thelwell offer differing perspectives on the 1963 March on Washington; John Hersey and Alice Lake bear witness to the fear and bravery of the movement in Mississippi, while essays by James Baldwin and Norman Podhoretz explore the complexities of race relations in the North.
Vivid reports by Robert Richardson and Bob Clark capture the nightmarish chaos of the Watts and Detroit riots, while Paul Good records the growing schism in 1966 between the non-violence of King and the Black Power advocacy of Stokely Carmichael. Sol Stern, Joan Didion, Gilbert Moore, and Nora Sayre write about the Black Panthers; Garry Wills and Pat Watters chronicle the traumatic aftermath of the assassination of King and the failure of the 1968 Poor People's Campaign; Willie Morris and Marshall Frady assess the South in the early 1970s; Tom Wolfe caustically explores new forms of racial confrontation; and Richard Margolis depicts the emergence of a new post-integration consciousness among African-American college students.
Each volume contains a detailed chronology of events, biographical profiles and photographs of the journalists, explanatory notes, and an index.
The advisory board for Reporting Civil Rights includes Clayborne Carson, senior editor, The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr.; David J. Garrow, Presidential Distinguished Professor, Emory University; Bill Kovach, chairman, Committee of Concerned Journalists; and Carol Polsgrove, professor of journalism, Indiana University.