THE NEGRO REVOLT by Louis E. Lomax


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The author of the recent The Reluctant African does an excellent job telling how his Negro-American people are engaged in a militant drive against segregation today. Beginning with the seamstress who refused to move back to make room for white people in a bus in Montgomery, in 1955, he traces the growth of Negro protest. He also gives us a succinct picture of the history of slavery in this country, and how the freedoms gained by the Negro after the Civil War were quickly, often brutally curtailed. There are things in this book---things like stories of police brutality, liberal hypocrisy, and the chronic failure of Americans to face the cruelty of Negro discrimination---which can only make the reader angry and, if he is white, ashamed. But there are close-ups too of men like Martin Luther King, of organizations like the NAACP or CORE, of activities like sit-ins and freedom rides, which also give one some idea of what people are trying to do to fight segregation. A chilling alternative too is seen in the Black Muslim movement, in Malcolm X and other extremists, who would deny the white man and withdraw to a world of their own. Lomax' interview with X is, in fact, one of the best things in a sane and useful book. An appendix gives interesting statistics on the Negro's economic and social position in the United States today---statistics which give the lie to what many false optimists tell us is the Negro's ""better"" lot in life. A very valuable and readable book on a vitally important subject.

Pub Date: June 20th, 1962
Publisher: Harper