A MIND TO STAY HERE: Profiles from the South by John Egerton

A MIND TO STAY HERE: Profiles from the South

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Profiles of the South's better side--eleven decent, humane, and quintessentially Southern people, both black and white, representative of those who love their homeland and will not leave it but who also believe staunchly in racial equality and human justice. Most of them worked in one way or another for the early civil rights movement, most of them have been left somewhere behind by black power militancy, and most of them still have a dream of a simple moral or religious-based reconciliation of the races in the south. ""In spite of its sins--or maybe in some inexplicable way, because of them--the South could be the birthplace of genuine human equality in this country."" John Lewis, early SNCC activist, and Fannie Lou Hamer, a leading light of the Mississippi voter registration drive and Freedom Democratic Party movement, are probably the best-known of the sympathetic subjects, but the others are at least local celebrities: Will Campbell, white poet, prophet, and preacher-at-large; James McBride Dabbs, one of ""the tattered remnant of Southern liberals""; Howard (Buck) Kester, ""the Eugene V. Debs of Dixie""; Lucius Pitts, president of black Miles College and one of his student success stories; U. W. Clemon; Sarah Patton Boyle, white author of ""Southerners Will Like Integration""; John Howard Griffin, white author of Black Like Me; and Billie and De De Pierce, apolitical black jazz musicians in New Orleans. The sketches are loosely structured, laced with first-person quotations, and overly self-conscious in style. (Photographs will be provided by Al Clayton.) Egerton closes with his own hope for the ultimate triumph of the good South, ""a faint hope, though, and getting fainter.

Pub Date: Sept. 7th, 1970
Publisher: Macmillan