Living Legacies : Literary Responses to the Civil Rights Movement book cover
1st Edition

Living Legacies
Literary Responses to the Civil Rights Movement

Edited By

Laura Dubek

ISBN 9781138094000
Published April 6, 2018 by Routledge
190 Pages

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Book Description

In this timely and dynamic collection of essays, Laura Dubek brings together a diverse group of scholars to explore the literary response to the most significant social movement of the twentieth century. Covering a wide range of genres and offering provocative readings of both familiar and lesser known texts, Living Legacies demonstrates how literature can be used not only to challenge the master narrative of the civil rights movement but also to inform and inspire the next generation of freedom fighters.

Table of Contents

List of Figures

1 From Alabama to Tahrir Square: Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story Comic as Civil Rights Narrative

J. Michael Lyons

2 Inviting Compassion and Caring Through Testimony: Participants in the Civil Rights Movement Speak for Themselves

Myra Zarnowski

3 "Tomorrow’s Great Meeting Place": Collective Autobiographies of the Civil Rights Movement

Elizabeth Rodrigues

4 "God Decreed It So": The Rhetoric of Destiny in 1963

Corrine Hinton and Tonya Hall

5 Back to Birmingham: Three Poets Remember the Sixteenth Street Church Bombing

StarShield Lortie and Laura Dubek

6 "Pass it On!": Legacy and the Freedom Struggle in Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon

Laura Dubek

7 "Living Proof of Something So Terrible": Pearl Cleage’s Bourbon at the Border and the Politics of Civil Rights History and Memory

Julius B. Fleming, Jr.

8 "A Living Theater" for Human Rights: Jill Freedman’s Old News and Visual Legacies of the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign

Katharina Fackler

9 "Gettin’ Ready to Ride into History": Spike Lee’s Get on the Bus and Sites of Memory

Jesse Williams, Jr.

10 "My Childhood is Ruined!": Harper Lee and Racial Innocence

Katherine Henninger


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Laura Dubek is a Professor of English at Middle Tennessee State University.


"This monograph breaks ground—moving the reader beyond the ‘popular’ narrative of the civil rights movement, which has largely been top-down, male-centered, and regionally focused, and infuses a multi-genre literary lens to interpret one of the most important historical event of the past." Thomas L. Bynum, Associate Professor of History, Middle Tennessee State University.