When: Tue., Feb. 11, 6:30 p.m. 2014
Americans’ collective memory of the civil rights movement is pretty dim — as evidenced by some of the tone-deaf coverage this summer of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. University of Memphis historian Aram Goudsouzian helps us out with a new book on a lesser-known march: James Meredith’s March Against Fear in 1966. Meredith, who had forced the integration of Ole Miss in 1962, set off to walk from Memphis to Jackson, Miss., aiming to bring encouragement to blacks living with the terror of Jim Crow. When he was shot point-blank by a white man in the road, the whole nation took notice. Down to the Crossroads: Civil Rights, Black Power, and the Meredith March Against Fear tells what happened next with the march — including the tensions between various civil rights leaders, especially after young activist Stokely Carmichael invoked the then-novel chant, “Black power!” Goudsouzian, whose previous works profiled Bill Russell and Sidney Poitier, will sign and discuss the new book.
Dana Kopp Franklin