The March Against Fear: The Last Great Walk of the Civil Rights Movement and the Emergence of Black Power

by Ann Bausum

Although James Meredith is best remembered today as the student who integrated the... read more

Although James Meredith is best remembered today as the student who integrated the University of Mississippi in 1962, his years after graduation were devoted to continuing the struggle for Black civil rights. Described as a “quirky loner,” Meredith chose not to join the movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., deciding instead to make his mark in his own way. He believed that the biggest barrier African Americans faced in the movement was fear, and so he decided to walk by himself from Memphis, Tennessee, to Jackson, Mississippi, a daring and courageous act for a Black man in any era, but particularly in the highly charged South in the mid-1960s. His March Against Fear attracted many others both in support and in violent opposition, and eventually led to the development of the Black Power Movement. Bausum’s chronological account is enriched by in-depth primary research into archives and contemporaneous news accounts, including an interview with James Meredith himself, shining a light on historical events that should not be forgotten. It’s unfortunate that the design of the book does not match the remarkable content; still it’s a critical and timely volume that will find an audience with readers interested in social justice and Black Lives Matter. (Age 14 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2018

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