HISTORY

The Movement: The African American Struggle for Civil Rights

Oxford Univ. Jan. 2021. 152p. ISBN 9780197525791. $18.95. HIST
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This current moment in the United States echoes past moments when Black Americans, people of color, and their allies fought for the rights often denied to those who weren’t white. In most cases, our sense of this history shrinks to one or two memorable landmarks. For some the death of Emmett Till, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and the March on Washington embody the civil rights movement. Our reductive cultural memory fixates on the highlights and leaves the messy details to the historians. In his new book, Holt (American & African American history, Univ. of Chicago; Children of Fire) provides a succinct reminder of the broader history of civil rights, covering the social conditions that led to the movement as well as the different groups (Albany Movement, Freedom Riders, etc.). While the book doesn’t go into the depth of detail as Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns, Danielle McGuire’s At The Dark End of the Street, and Jill Watts’s The Black Cabinet, it does provide readers a worthy introduction.
VERDICT Holt presents a brief if full picture of the civil rights movement in America that will appeal to high school and college students.

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