Monday, August 22, 2005

New Book Examines Mississippi Civil Rights History

Where Rebels Roost - Mississippi Civil Rights Revisited

By M. Susan Klopfer, with Fred J. Klopfer and Barry C. Klopfer

In the hot summer before the cold winter in which our nation entered the war to end all wars, two black males were born. Both were murdered in the Mississippi Delta... Emmett Till died at 14, and Cleve McDowell only lived to be 56.

Some call the modern Civil Rights Movement the second Reconstruction or even the second Civil War. There were familiar themes: mistreatment of blacks, demands for sovereignty or self determination of Mississippi, and the good guys won.

Tribute to Emmett Till

But as freedom volunteers packed up and left the Delta in 1964, brutality and murder continued. Some stories made it into the news and later history books, but too often, critical facts were slanted or incomplete. And too often ften the stories from the rural Delta did not make it out of the region.

The official Movement that took place during the middle years of the 1950s through the 1960s formally began outside of Mississippi when Rosa Parks refused to be seated at the back of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. But well before her decision in 1955, the anger was already there and it was building. By the mid 1940s Anglo-Saxons throughout the South were finding it harder than ever to protect their over-extended turfs, especially as black soldiers returned home from WWII and Korea with lists of new demands.

Returning veterans like James Meredith, Medgar Evers and Amzie Moore were among many motivated to capture the freedom they had fought for and helped to win.

Where Rebels Roost - Mississippi Civil Rights Revisited offers the newest information on civil rights murders in the Delta from recently opened files from the Sovereignty Commission. Uncivil Rites opens with the introduction of slavery into the Delta and moves through the Civil War, when many African Americans fought for the Union, into Reconstruction followed by years of anguish, as those enslaved seemed to lose everything that was gained. It took the modern Civil Rights movement and even more years to bring the vote to Delta blacks and it was to the credit of the Delta’s civil rights foot soldiers, people like McDowell, Birdia Keglar, Rev. George Lee and others who fought for their freedoms.

Mississippi Civil Rights Revisited; "Where Rebels Roost." New book emphasizes voting rights and newest information on Emmett Till and Chaney, Schwerner and Goodman (Neshoba County); 690 pages, 1200 footnotes; 1000+ names of murdered victims.

Read free chapters. Learn more now about the civil rights movement and voting rights.

Available from The Mississippi Delta Blues and Civil Rights Book Store

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