Outside Agitator: The Civil Rights Struggle of Cleveland Sellers Jr

Hub City. Nov. 2018. 240p. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9781938235450. pap. $18. BIOG
OrangeReviewStarJournalist Parker (Charleston Post and Courier) provides a detailed biographical account of Cleveland Sellers Jr. (b. 1944), a critical civil rights organizer in the 1960s who worked with Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Stokely Carmichael, among others. If Sellers is a lesser-known figure of the era, this was partly by choice. Sellers worked behind the scenes, doing less public facing, though no less important, background organizational work in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), in which he rose to high administrative posts. With vivid details, Parker unpacks Seller's upbringing and influences, portraying the realities of segregated South Carolina and presenting an ultimately compelling read about an educator and activist, from his earliest involvement in a local NAACP chapter to the flashpoint climax of his involvement in the civil rights movement, especially the 1968 Orangeburg Massacre, where he was the sole person convicted and jailed for the protests that occurred.
VERDICT Readers of historical biography, especially related to civil rights and social justice, will enjoy this informative work.

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