This Bright Light of Ours: Stories from the Voting Rights Fight by Maria GitinThis Bright Light of Ours: Stories from the Voting Rights Fight by Maria Gitin

This Bright Light of Ours: Stories from the Voting Rights Fight

byMaria GitinForeword byLewis V. Baldwin

Hardcover | February 11, 2014

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This Bright Light of Ours offers a tightly focused insider’s view of the community-based activism that was the heart of the civil rights movement. A celebration of grassroots heroes, this book details through first-person accounts the contributions of ordinary people who formed  the nonviolent army that won the fight for voting rights.

Combining memoir and oral history, Maria Gitin fills a vital gap in civil rights history by focusing on the neglected Freedom Summer of 1965 when hundreds of college students joined forces with local black leaders to register thousands of new black voters in the rural South. Gitin was an idealistic nineteen-year-old college freshman from a small farming community north of San Francisco who felt called to action when she saw televised images of brutal attacks on peaceful demonstrators during Bloody Sunday, in Selma, Alabama.

Atypical among white civil rights volunteers, Gitin came from a rural low-income family. She raised funds to attend an intensive orientation in Atlanta featuring now-legendary civil rights leaders. Her detailed letters include the first narrative account of this orientation and the only in-depth field report from a teenage Summer Community Organization and Political Education (SCOPE) project participant.

Gitin details the dangerous life of civil rights activists in Wilcox County, Alabama, where she was assigned. She tells of threats and arrests, but also of forming deep friendships and of falling in love. More than four decades later, Gitin returned to Wilcox County to revisit the people and places that she could never forget and to discover their views of the “outside agitators” who had come to their community. Through conversational interviews with more than fifty Wilcox County residents and former civil rights workers, she has created a channel for the voices of these unheralded heroes who formed the backbone of the civil rights movement.
Maria Gitin was a national fundraising and diversity trainer for twenty-eight years. She has served as Executive Director of a YWCA, founded a shelter for survivors of domestic violence, and continues to register voters in communities of color. Currently, Gitin is a frequent presenter on cultural competency and voting rights. She lives...
Title:This Bright Light of Ours: Stories from the Voting Rights FightFormat:HardcoverDimensions:328 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.3 inPublished:February 11, 2014Publisher:University Of Alabama PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0817318178

ISBN - 13:9780817318178

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Editorial Reviews

"This Bright Light of Ours: Stories from the Voting Rights Fight is a first-hand, from-the-front-lines report of the '60s Southern voting rights movement in one of the most resistant counties in one of the most resistant states. This is a must-read account of a less publicized aspect of the Southern civil rights movement -- white volunteers risking life and limb to challenge white supremacy at its most brutal." —Julian Bond, Chairman Emeritus, NAACP “Maria Gitin tells her own story on her own terms, giving readers an honest rendering of one woman’s experience on the front lines of struggle against a deeply entrenched system of racial oppression.  Her book is a worthy companion piece to Anne Moody’s Coming of Age in Mississippi and Ned Cobb’s superb Alabama narrative All God’s Dangers.” —Clarence Mohr, author of On the Threshold of Freedom: Masters and Slaves in Civil War Georgia “This Bright Light of Ours is everything a book about civil rights should be. Gitin’s memoir is more honest than most, as she details the many sacrifices that had to be made to navigate hostile family issues. In having read a number of books about the civil rights movement, Gitin is the first to addresses and detail SCOPE—and for that she has made an important contribution to the field.” —John A. Obee, civil rights veteran, Simpson County Civic League, Mississippi, 1967