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Rosa Parks
Douglas Brinkley
Adult Nonfiction F334.M753 P373 2000

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In the second volume to date of the popular Penguin Lives series to be devoted to a woman (remarkably, only four of the projected 26 subjects will be female), historian Brinkley shreds several key myths surrounding Rosa Parks, the African-American woman who became "the Mother of the Civil Rights Movement" at the age of 42, when she boldly defied Jim Crow laws by refusing to give up her seat to a white rider on a segregated bus in 1955. The act catalyzed the historic 381-day Montgomery bus boycott and stirred the nation's conscience. Yet Parks has a more complex personality than is suggested by her shy, soft-spoken public persona, Brinkley reveals. Despite a humble, fatherless childhood in rural Alabama, she quickly distinguished herself as a tireless worker with the local NAACP, devoting her energies to area youth groups, recording the problems of victims of hate crimes and participating in the organization's major state conferences. Brinkley (The Unfinished Presidency, etc.) pinpoints the origins of Parks's strength and strong social commitment as he details the legalized segregation that tainted every aspect of Southern life. His short, compelling scenes rivet the reader, although some merely expand on previously disclosed events, such as the wave of jealousy and backbiting among Parks's peers, her resurgence in Detroit politics as an aide to Representative John Conyers and the savage beating and robbery that almost took her life in 1994. Like several books in this series, Brinkley's tribute to Parks succeeds not because of an abundance of fresh revelations but because of its wealth of insight and rich portraiture. Agent, Andrew Wylie; 4-city author tour. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Effectively evoking time and place from Rosa Louise McCaulery's birth in Tuskegee, AL, on February 4, 1913, to her receiving the U.S. Congress's highest honor-the Congressional Gold Medal-in 1999, historian Brinkley (Univ. of New Orleans) profiles the quiet woman dubbed "Mother of the Civil Rights Movement." On December 1, 1955, the seamstress, who married Raymond Parks and served as secretary to the NAACP chapter in Alabama's capital, refused to give up her city bus seat to a white man and was arrested for violating racial segregation laws. Brinkley's contribution to the "Penguins Lives" series captures the resolve that helped launch and guide the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1995-56 and the crusading protest that followed. An easy-to-read synthesis, this book offers general readers an accessible profile of both Parks and black protest against white supremacy for most of the 20th century. The recently re-issued 1992 autobiography, Rosa Parks: My Story (Penguin Putnam Bks. for Young Readers, 1999) provides a more personal focus on Parks. Recommended for collections on biography, African Americans, women's studies, Civil Rights, the South, or modern U.S. history. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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