Lighting the Fires of Freedom: African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement (Hardcover)

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Recommended by The New York Times, The Washington Post, Book Riot and Autostraddle

Nominated for a 50th NAACP IMAGE Award for Outstanding Literary Work - Debut Author.

A groundbreaking collection based on oral histories that plumbs the leadership of African American women in the twentieth-century fight for civil rights--many nearly lost to history--from the latest winner of the Studs and Ida Terkel Prize

During the Civil Rights Movement, African American women did not stand on ceremony; they simply did the work that needed to be done. Yet despite their significant contributions at all levels of the movement, they remain mostly invisible to the larger public. Beyond Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King, most Americans would be hard-pressed to name other leaders at the community, local, and national levels.

In Lighting the Fires of Freedom Janet Dewart Bell shines a light on women's all-too-often overlooked achievements in the Movement. Through wide-ranging conversations with nine women, several now in their nineties with decades of untold stories, we hear what ignited and fueled their activism, as Bell vividly captures their inspiring voices. Lighting the Fires of Freedom offers these deeply personal and intimate accounts of extraordinary struggles for justice that resulted in profound social change, stories that are vital and relevant today.

A vital document for understanding the Civil Rights Movement, Lighting the Fires of Freedom is an enduring testament to the vitality of women's leadership during one of the most dramatic periods of American history.

About the Author


Janet Dewart Bell is a social justice activist with a doctorate in leadership and change from Antioch University. She founded the Derrick Bell Lecture on Race in American Society series at the New York University School of Law. An award-winning television and radio producer, she lives in New York City.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781620973356
ISBN-10: 1620973359
Publisher: New Press
Publication Date: May 8th, 2018
Pages: 240
Language: English