Books to curl up with: a librarian's musings

Friday, September 01, 2006

Rising up

I just finished Unita Blackwell's biography - Barefootin'. I have to admit that I had never heard of her before and with all her accomplishments it suprised me.

Ms. Blackwell went from being the among the undereducated poor of the Mississippi Delta to being a civil rights leader and MacArthur fellow. She tells of her being so fed up with her life that she put her life in jeopardy to register to vote with help from SNCC. In the end she became a leader in her own right.

My favourite part was her attending the 1964 Democratic Convention and along with other civil rights leaders trying to unseat the Mississippi contingent. I was most upset by the incident after her arrest and being taken to the Jacksonville grounds.

In some ways the book is of a great struggle, but in other ways the book lacks some heart or warmth. I don't know why. I am glad that I read it, but I feel I know the facts of her life and not her. I would recommend this to students. As a first hand history of the civil rights movement and women's movement, it would make history more real to them.