The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement

24 Nov

The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement

The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement

Taylor Branch

Language: English

Pages: 224

ISBN: 1451662467

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The essential moments of the Civil Rights Movement are set in historical context by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the magisterial America in the King Years trilogy—Parting the Waters; Pillar of Fire; and At Canaan’s Edge.

Taylor Branch, author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning America in the King Years trilogy, presents selections from his monumental work that recount the essential moments of the Civil Rights Movement. A masterpiece of storytelling on race and democracy, violence and nonviolence, The King Years delivers riveting tales of everyday heroes whose stories inspire us still. Here is the full sweep of an era that transformed America and continues to offer crucial lessons for today’s world. This vital primer amply fulfills Branch’s dedication: “For students of freedom and teachers of history.”












Congress, his compromise antagonized both political flanks. Overall, the 1964 election marked an unprecedented shift in the structure of national politics. A partisan reversal would take hold over decades, driven and yet muffled by race, tainting the word “liberal” in both parties. [From Pillar of Fire, pp. 401–6, 456–76, 493] Republicans opened their national convention in the San Francisco Cow Palace [on] Monday, July 13. All three television networks covered the four-day national

across Pettus Bridge, a geyser of emotion blended joy with rage. A Roman Catholic priest cried out, “Thank you, Lord.” Tears welled up in some who felt spared recurrent terror, while others sobbed over the letdown from a transcendent moment. Rev. Edwin King, who had been jailed and beaten and defrocked for integration in Mississippi, cried fitfully over a U-turn he considered a disastrous waste of moral courage, and forever lost trust in Martin Luther King. James Forman and other SNCC leaders

shouted in her mighty voice: ‘It’s time now to stop begging them for what should have been done one hundred years ago. We have stood up on our feet, and God knows we’re on our way!’ ” Noise from Lafayette Park filtered across the street into the Cabinet Room where President Johnson convened seven congressional leaders Sunday afternoon. “You made the White House fireproof but not soundproof,” he observed wryly in the midst of a sober prediction that more would die like Reeb until the government

like to live—a long life—longevity has its place.” The whole building suddenly hushed, which let sounds of thunder and rain fall from the roof. “But I’m not concerned about that now,” said King. “I just want to do God’s will.” There was a subdued call of “Yes!” in the crowd. “And he’s allowed me to go up the mountain,” King cried, building intensity. “And I’ve looked over. And I have s-e-e-e-e-e-n the promised land.” His voice searched a long peak over the word “seen,” then hesitated and landed

retreat. He grasped freedom seen and unseen, rooted in ecumenical faith, sustaining patriotism to brighten the heritage of his country for all people. These treasures abide with lasting promise from America in the King years. Acknowledgments There is no need to list again the multitude of research institutions and sources cited individually in the underlying trilogy, America in the King Years. However, I do want to repeat my indebtedness to them. This short history, like the narrative from

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