Recommended byThe New York Times,The Washington Post,Book RiotandAutostraddle
Nominated for a 2019 NAACP Image Award, a groundbreaking collection of profiles of African American women leaders in the twentieth-century fight for civil rights
During the Civil Rights Movement, African American women did not stand on ceremony; they simply did the work that needed to be done. Yet despite their significant contributions at all levels of the movement, they remain mostly invisible to the larger public. Beyond Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King, most Americans would be hard-pressed to name other leaders at the community, local, and national levels.
InLighting the Fires of FreedomJanet Dewart Bell shines a light on women’s all-too-often overlooked achievements in the Movement. Through wide-ranging conversations with nine women, several now in their nineties with decades of untold stories, we hear what ignited and fueled their activism, as Bell vividly captures their inspiring voices.Lighting the Fires of Freedomoffers these deeply personal and intimate accounts of extraordinary struggles for justice that resulted in profound social change, stories that are vital and relevant today.
A vital document for understanding the Civil Rights Movement,Lighting the Fires of Freedomis an enduring testament to the vitality of women’s leadership during one of the most dramatic periods of American history.