Moon U.S. Civil Rights Trail: A Traveler’s Guide to the People, Places, and Events That Made the Movement

Moon Travel. (Travel Guide). Jan. 2021. 544p. ISBN 9781640499157. pap. $24.99. REF
With this superb book—at once a reference work and a travel guide—about locations pivotal to the U.S. civil rights movement, Douglas (journalism, DePauw Univ.) raises the bar for other historically oriented travel books. Featuring clear and detailed maps, well-planned itineraries, and tips for places to see and things to do, the guide highlights 16 cities in the southern U.S., across 13 chapters. It starts in Charleston, SC, the port of entry for over half of enslaved Black people transported from Africa. The guide then winds through Selma, Montgomery, and Birmingham, AL; Little Rock, AR; and Jackson, MI; it ends in Washington, DC. In addition to information on shopping, nightlife, food, arts and culture, and accommodation, Douglas expertly weaves in information about the civil rights movement to remind readers that these places are steeped in history. The book is authoritative and absorbing, with time lines, interviews with civil rights activists, personal reflections from the author, and playlists to listen to while on the road. The guide concludes with a selection of resources on the future of the civil rights movement and the history of civil rights actions, plus essential information for travelers, including COVID-19 precautions.
VERDICT Laden with information, this affecting guide provides a nuanced and powerful representation of Black Americans’ fight for freedom and equality. For every library.
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