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If Your Back's Not Bent : The Role of the Citizenship Education Program in the Civil Rights Mov...

ISBN: 9780743296830 | 0743296834
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Atria Books
Pub. Date: 9/4/2012

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If Your Back’s Not Bent tells the story of the last surviving member of Dr. King’s inner circle. From her impoverished upbringing in North Carolina in the 1930s, joining the movement in the 1950s, to being a part of the entourage in Oslo, Norway when King accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, and up-to-now, Ms. Cotton shares her insights as a visionary, peacemaker and life-long civil rights activist. Her mother died when she was 3-years-old, leaving her and her sisters to be raised alone by her father who worked in a tobacco factory down the road from their shotgun shack in Goldsboro, NC. She put herself through college working as a live-in housekeeper to the president of the university and his wife. Through it all, she envisioned a better life for herself and earned a degree in English and library science. She later earned a master’s degree in speech therapy from Boston University. She married, but never had children. She rather joined the leadership of the Civil Rights Movement, putting that before her personal life. In the end, she not only witnessed history, she made it She accompanied Dr. King to Memphis and was booked in the room next door to his in the Lorraine Motel where he was murdered. She had worked closely with him and organized students during the 1963 Birmingham campaign. Dr. King asked her to stay longer in Memphis on that fateful trip, but she was compelled to leave early to do SCLC work elsewhere.

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