The Wrong Side of Murder Creek: A White Southerner in the Freedom Movement

"The journey white Southerners travel in this riveting memoir, from virulent racism to acceptance of blacks' civil rights, is as momentous as any in American history. Zellner moved a shorter distance — son of a progressive, integrationist minister from Alabama, he had his family's support when he joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1961. A frontline participant in many civil rights battles, he was jailed, beaten, slashed, shot at by police and taken on a terrifying night ride by Klansmen as they debated whether to lynch him. He's also a canny observer of major figures in the struggle, from SNCC legend Robert Moses to segregationist stalwart George Wallace. Zellner comes off as confident, even cocky — especially in his many arguments with racist antagonists, of which he has an implausible verbatim recall — but the constant menace of howling white mobs, vicious cops and Klan terrorists takes its toll. The result is a testament both to the courage of civil rights activists and to the hatred they overcame; when Zellner survives to see white and black workers come together for a wildcat strike, it seems almost miraculous. Photos." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Zellner tells how one white Alabamian joined ranks with the black students who were sitting-in, marching, fighting, and sometimes dying to challenge the southern "way of life." He was in all the campaigns and was close to all the major figures.
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