Why did I love this book?
Poor Black farmers and sharecroppers lined the route of Martin Luther King’s famous march from Selma to Montgomery in March 1965, an epic protest that drew thousands of white supporters and led to the passage of the landmark Voting Rights Act. Hasan Jeffries beautifully recaptures these local people’s struggle for political power and economic self-determination. This book made plain to me as has no other just why and where Black Power was the only option. Local people creatively won support from the federal Office of Economic Opportunity and challenged Lowndes County’s courthouse cliques and agricultural committees, powerful agencies set up of, by, and for wealthy white planters under New Deal federal crop subsidy programs. The Lowndes County Freedom Organization was the original Black Panther Party that later inspired legions of local northern activists.