It’s in the Action: Memories of a Nonviolent Warrior

NewSouth. Mar. 2021. 172p. ISBN 9781588384416. $25.95. memoir
Completed shortly before his death, this posthumous memoir by Baptist minister and nonviolent activist Vivian (1924–2020) lays out his guiding principles of love, faith, and justice. A close associate of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Vivian was also a firm believer in nonviolent action and he explains, in fascinating detail, ongoing efforts of direct action from organizers during the civil rights movement. Notably, he shares the principles he learned from the Congress for Racial Equality, or CORE, and how accountability and responsibility for one’s actions are a key part of fighting for civil rights. Powerful sections detail his time campaigning for voting rights in Selma, and aiming to integrate lunch counters in Peoria, IL. Vivian is a modest author, and when he outlines his involvement, it is because it has not been covered elsewhere. Descriptions of protests in Selma, Birmingham, and other cities have been covered in other books, such as Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice, and Vivian frequently references these notable works. His account, co-written by author and activist Fiffer, adds a much-needed perspective.
VERDICT A book that all should pick up and read, as there is still much to be learned about the civil rights movement that should not be forgotten.
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