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Freedom's Daughters: A Juneteenth Story [Hardcover]

By Lynne Olson (Author)
Our Price $ 25.50  
Retail Value $ 30.00  
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Item Number 153140  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   464
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.51" Width: 6.5" Height: 1.27"
Weight:   1.5 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Feb 28, 2001
Publisher   Scribner
ISBN  0684850125  
EAN  9780684850122  

Availability  0 units.

Alternate Formats List Price Our Price Item Number Availability
Hardcover $ 30.00 $ 25.50 153140
Paperback $ 19.99 $ 16.99 153139 In Stock
Item Description...
Outline ReviewAlthough men like Martin Luther King Jr. and Stokely Carmichael grabbed the headlines, women provided not just the backbone but frequently the leadership of the civil rights movement, this punchy popular history reminds us. And not just during the 1950s and '60s: Ida Mae Wells spearheaded an international anti-lynching campaign in 1892, Mary White Ovington helped launch the NAACP in 1909, and Pauli Murray led the first sit-in in 1944. The civil rights and feminist movements have been intertwined since the 19th century, notes Lynne Olson, who doesn't flinch from describing the ways in which sex has been used as a weapon to define and divide black and white women. Olson, coauthor of The Murrow Boys, again displays a marvelous knack for knitting sharp individual portraits into a cohesive group biography within a lively, accessible narrative. She makes it clear that women like Rosa Parks, Diane Nash, and Ida Mae Holland were not mere foot soldiers for male generals. Parks's record of civil rights work dated to the 1940s, long before she sparked the Montgomery bus boycott. The 22-year-old Nash revitalized the Freedom Rides after male colleagues nearly abandoned them in the wake of white violence. Holland transformed herself from an 18-year-old prostitute into a determined activist inspired by the older women she called "mamas" who could be seen on the front lines of every march, singing and testifying. Ella Baker, Jo Ann Robinson, Septima Clark, and Fannie Lou Hamer are among the other neglected figures who finally get their due in Olson's moving tribute. --Wendy Smith

Product Description

The first comprehensive history of the role of women in the civil rights movement, Freedom's Daughters fills a startling gap in both the literature of civil rights and of women's history.

Stokely Carmichael, Andrew Young, John Lewis, and other well-known leaders of the civil rights movement have admitted that women often had the ideas for which men took credit. In this groundbreaking book, credit finally goes where credit is due -- to the bold women who were crucial to the movement's success and who refused to give up the fight. From the Montgomery bus boycott to the lunch counter sit-ins to the Freedom Rides, Lynne Olson's Freedom's Daughters offers a remarkable corrective to the standard history as she tells the long overlooked story of the extraordinary women, both black and white, who were among the most fearless, resourceful, and tenacious leaders of the civil rights movement.

Reminding us that the story of women fighting for civil rights began much earlier than the 1950s and 1960s, Olson puts the formal civil rights movement into the context of a much larger history of women's activism. From the abolitionist and suffragist movements to women's liberation, Olson proves that the political activity of women has been the thread connecting the big reform movements from the 1830s to 1970.

Into this context, then, she introduces portraits and cameos of more than sixty women -- many until now forgotten and some never before written about -- from the key figures (Pauli Murray, Ida Wells, Eleanor Roosevelt, Ella Baker, and Septima Clark, among others) whose activism spanned several different movements and decades to some of the smaller players who represent the hundreds and hundreds of women who each came forth to do her own small part and who together ultimately formed the mass movements that made the difference. As one male activist said of the movement in Mississippi: "It was a woman's war."

This is the story of women making difficult choices, trying to balance lives as wives and mothers with their all-consuming work, defying society's standards of proper female behavior. It's the story of indomitable black women like Diane Nash who refused to give up the civil rights fight, even as the formal movement collapsed, and of white female civil rights activists mourning the loss of their old movement while helping to launch a new one -- the battle for women's rights.

Freedom's Daughters puts a human face on the civil rights struggle -- and shows that that face was often female.

Buy Freedom's Daughters: A Juneteenth Story by Lynne Olson from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780684850122 & 0684850125

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More About Lynne Olson

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Lynne Olson is the author of Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in its Darkest, Finest Hour; Troublesome Young Men: The Rebels Who Brought Churchill to Power and Helped Save England; and Freedom's Daughters: The Unsung Heroines of the Civil Rights Movement from 1830 to 1970, and co-author of two other books. She lives with her husband in Washington, D.C.

Lynne Olson currently resides in Washington, in the state of District Of Columbia.

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Product Categories
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Inspirational Masterpiece.  Jan 28, 2008
This history may be the best one written about the Civil Rights Movement.
It certainly affords the reader a special perspective correcting the imbalance in others. The events unfold, the characters reveal themselves, and the politics astound in an intertwined masterful way. For those who were there, this study should be a great reminder (like Circle of Trust).
For those who are too young to have any direct memories, this book should inspire hope, commitment, and new activity.
Extremely worthwhile!  Sep 9, 2005
So much was happening and so many strong women (and girls!) were working so hard for humane treatment while I was a youngster thousands of miles away. The least I can do in their honor is to tell others to read this book and learn!
The Way it Really Was  Feb 28, 2002
It seems the anatomy of revolutions is that they metamorphose and become tarnished, and the civil rights movement of the 60s (the Revolution, Baby! as we called it then) was no exception. With history, they become glamorized and give rise to fantasized, self-appointed heroes and revisionism. This book is TRUTH without TARNISH, and sets straight the record devised by many during the past three decades of revisionism. From one who was really there, in Philadelphia Mississippi in early 60's, in again in 64-66, and during FBI investigations, I want to say: FINALLY, someone is telling it like it really was, without revisionism, without glorification of the johnnies who came lately, and without interest in creating a politically correct and marketable commodity. I knew many of the players Ms. Olsen seeks out and interviews, and I take great pride in hearing their story in the unadultuated truth. I also feel such gratification in learning how many of them went on, led lives, continued their educations, raised families and managed to put their disillusionments behind them. It's a source of healing for me, and now I too can perhaps say, at least I thought I was "doing something really important" -- a paraphrase from Diane Nash. I have tried so hard to forget the good times, because the years since have seen the initial dream tarnished and all but destroyed. Now, perhaps, I too can find some pride in what I helped to start, even though now it's clear, the civil rights movement didn't exactly end up the way those who started it intended it. My only regret is some of the truly brave, white women who stood up for their sisters, did not get more time from Ms. Olsen. One of the great heroes was Ms. Florence Mars -- probably the only woman in Neshoba County with a college education at the time -- and but a slight reference in Olsen's book. Her courage was most notable because she was of the white, wealthy elite who had everything to loose and nothing to gain by helping the Freedom Riders and using her own voice to influence. She could have spent her entire life living in her glorious Southern Revivalist house on Poplar Avenue, run her family's lumber business and never taken a chance, or lifted a finger to help. It is not risktaking, it is easy to participate, when one has nothing to loose, risk and can only gain. Ms. Mars didn't have to get involved at all. And, yet, she did -- for as she told Time Magazine when Missippi Burning (alas, revisionism at it's worst!) was filmed and released "it was the right thing to do." I want to go back to Philadelphia and see is Ms. Mars is still alive. She must be 80 now! Did she ever recover from her stroke -- I want to thank her for the greatest of kindness she showed me once in 66. And I want to tell her that I've come to realize that while there were many evil white people in the Southern heirarchy, there were many, many other good white people like her, good white women, and even good white men. People like Judge and Mrs. (Helen Patton) J. Skelley Wright. Thanks to Ms. Olson, for opening up this pandora's box of provocative, truthful thought. Maybe it will start a dialog about the way it really was.
Intense and honest  Aug 11, 2001
This book fills a huge hole in civil rights history literature. Anyone involved in that struggle and other similiar type movements know the huge amount of grunt work that goes into a simple picket line. This work that the men scorned was the backbone of the movement and continues to this day. It shines a light on influential women in civil rights and goes into a their history and struggles. Many of these women have been mentioned in other books but that is all that is done - barely mentioned. In addition, Ms. Olson explores in an extremely honest way the relations between white women and black women and black men. These pages were some of the best writing I ever read on this topic.
Freedom's Daughters:The Unsung Heroines of the Civil Rights  Jul 28, 2001
I picked up this book because of the title, having read Taylor Branch's two books on Martin Luther King, Jr., and having grown up in the sixties when the media was making much of the marches and non-violent protests that characterized the Civil Rights Movement. I was initially put off by the book from the outset. The very opening words give the date as April 22, 1944, and continues in the first paragraph to talk about the Marines taking bloody Iwo Jima. Unfortunately the assault on Iwo Jima didn't occur until February, 1945, nearly a year later. I found it odd that both the author, who appears skilled at historical research, or an editor, adept at making sure items in a nonfiction book are accurate, would have missed such a blatant historical error! It made me initially wonder at the veracity of subsequent facts.

I, however, continued in my reading and came to truly appreciate the depth of fervor exhibited by the women who put their lives, their families, their reputations and their beliefs on the line for the principles of equality... something that those who are not African-American far too often take for granted! I appreciated the truth of how often women have been the planners and motivators of such great causes.

The book itself seemed a bit "tangled" as Lynne Olson tried to share the stories of many women, often interweaving the story of one woman with another. It left me having to back up and get a handle on who she was describing.

All in all, though, the book seems a good resource adding depth to the history of the Civil Rights Movement which has all too often been simply a biography of the Movement's icon, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He is portrayed in the media as the single force behind the Civil Rights protest. Any thinking person would know that this is not true. His charisma and ability to inspire people was a much-needed element. But without the gifts and talents of the women described in Lynne Olson's book, it may have come to naught.


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