Cover image for The thunder of angels : the Montgomery bus boycott and the people who broke the back of Jim Crow
Title:
The thunder of angels : the Montgomery bus boycott and the people who broke the back of Jim Crow
ISBN:
9781556525902
Edition:
1st ed.
Publication Information:
Chicago : Lawrence Hill Books, c2006.
Physical Description:
xxiii, 293 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.
Added Author:
Summary:
The heroism of those involved in the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott is presented here in poignant and thorough detail. The untold stories of those, both black and white, whose lives were forever changed by the boycott are shared, along with a chilling glimpse into the world of the white council members who tried to stop them. In the end, the boycott brought Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to prominence and improved the lives of all black Americans. Bases on extensive interviews conducted over decades and culled from thousands of exclusive documents, this behind-the-scenes examination details the history of violence and abuse on the city buses. A look at Martin Luther King Jr.'s trial, an and even firsthand accounts from the segregationists who bombed the homes of some of Montgomery's most progressive ministers are included. This fast-moving story reads like a legal thriller but is based solely on documented facts and firsthand accounts presenting the compelling and never-before-told stories of the beginning of the end of segregation.,
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Summary

Summary

The heroism of those involved in the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott is presented here in poignant detail. The untold stories of those whose lives were forever changed by the boycott are shared, along with a chilling glimpse into the world of the white council members who tried to stop them.


Author Notes

Donnie Williams inherited the bus made famous by Rosa Parks; in 2003 he sold it to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. He has spent many years interviewing those who witnessed and participated in the boycott. Wayne Greenhaw is the critically acclaimed author of 17 books, including Beyond the Night , My Heart Is in the Earth , and The Spider's Web . His work has appeared in The Miami Herald , The New York Times , and Reader's Digest .


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Williams and Greenhaw reveal the depth of involvement of ordinary black folks in the Montgomery bus boycott and their brave resistance to Jim Crow, far beyond that which is commonly known. He recalls the many extraordinary blacks and whites of the South who rose above the required expectations and limitations of social conventions and played crucial roles in the formation of the modern civil rights movement. Although popular culture highlights the role of Martin Luther King Jr and Rosa Parks, Williams (who inherited the bus made famous by Parks and later donated it to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan) and Greenhaw expose the reader to lesser-known figures: the Pullman porter and organizer E. D. Nixon, who provided the organization surrounding Parks' resistance; Fred D. Gray, a minister and lawyer who played critical roles in the boycott; and Virginia and Clifford Durr, a white couple who provided discreet support. This book brings to life the boycott that catapulted the nation into the civil rights era, portraying the personal sacrifices and heroism of ordinary people. --Vernon Ford Copyright 2005 Booklist


Choice Review

This work appears as the US celebrates the 50th anniversary of Rosa Parks's arrest on December 1, 1955, for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger on a public bus, sparking the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Williams and Greenhaw are to be congratulated for bringing this story to the attention of the reading public. Their collaboration is itself an interesting story. Williams's father-in-law purchased the bus on which the arrest occurred. Retained and protected by Williams for several decades, it has been restored and exhibited by the Henry Ford Museum. Greenhaw, a journalist and writer with personal connections to many of the central characters, provides an interesting chronicle of the boycott and the conditions and events that precipitated it. Indeed, the presentation of Edgar Daniel Nixon is the book's strongest feature. Written in an engaging style, this work is not an academic narrative. Ironically, that is simultaneously a strength and a weakness. Public libraries should purchase this book. Academic libraries with civil rights collections may find it worthy of consideration. Summing Up: Recommended. General and undergraduate collections. B. M. Banta Arkansas State University


Library Journal Review

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Rosa Parks's refusal to give up her seat on public bus #2857 in Montgomery, AL, prompting the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955-56. Williams's father purchased the bus in the 1970s to ensure its preservation. He and coauthor Greenhaw (Beyond the Night: A Remembrance) aim not simply to tell the story of the protest but also to cast light upon E.D. Nixon, an organizer in Montgomery for many years before the boycott. They contend that the boycott does not owe its beginnings simply to Rosa Parks or to Martin Luther King Jr. but to Nixon's tenacity, explaining that it was Nixon who picked King to lead the protest. King's Stride Toward Freedom doesn't deny Nixon's galvanizing force but doesn't quite say what Williams and Greenhaw are saying here. Through extensive interviews, the authors uncover significant personal histories of the boycott, including, quite unsettlingly, those of KKK members who terrorized Montgomery at the time. Vividly narrated, though at times slowing for biographical background on the main figures, this work is compelling and brilliantly accomplished, giving Nixon deserved recognition. Recommended for public and academic libraries.-Jim Hahn, Harper Coll. Lib., Palatine, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.