Untold story of the Civil Rights Movement receives a voiceBy
Published: March 7, 2013
Professor Linda Brown releases book, filling the gaps of history
For the first time, the untold story of the Civil Rights Movement is put to paper in Dr. Linda Brown’s Belles of Liberty: Gender, Bennett College, And The Civil Rights Movement In Greensboro, North Carolina.
A 1961 graduate of Greensboro’s Bennett College, Dr. Brown sheds light on the era’s overshadowed proponents of civil activism, the women. In this work, she pens the neglected story of those who finally said enough is enough the visionaries who conceived, imagined and believed in a world better than their own, the revolutionaries
who rallied, marched and protested against Jim Crow’s segregated South, the brave women who sacrificed yet never surrendered, all in the name of justice.
For Dr. Brown, the work had to come to fruition so that she and the other female participants of the Civil Rights Movement could fill in the gaps of history’s timeline.
“We know, as archeologists do, that there are layers of experiences waiting to be uncovered. But we are even further from the truth when major pieces of the historical fabric are missing. Until these layers of history are made visible, the story will remain incomplete,” she said.
When asked why add another book to the overflowing list of material about the infamous sit-ins, the author answered: “Perspective is everything in the interpretation of history. ‘History is written by the winners is not an idle statement. In the case of the story of Greensboro sit-ins, it is the winners’ story that is not complete…’”
Bennett College president and fellow classmate Dr. Esther Terry, ’61, shared that it is the documented perspectives and personal experiences that really makes the book shine.
“Linda writes about what she knows, what she lived and for what she does not know and did not live, she turns to others, allowing us to hear their testimonies. The result is that we experience, not just Linda’s telling alone, but the telling by a group of women, ensemble-like, of their remembrances of the sit-ins (what they brought with them; what they took away; their fears, their joys), giving the book a rich tapestry of human experience that makes it live,” Dr. Terry said.
Dr. Linda B. Brown attended Bennett College from 1957-1961, receiving an undergraduate education in French and English. She currently serves as the college’s Willa B. Player Distinguished Professor of the Humanities. She is the author of “Black Angels; Rainbow ‘Roun Mah Shoulder, a prize winning book; Crossing Over Jordan; and The Long Walk: A History of the Presidency of Willa B. Player at Bennett College.
She also holds degrees from Case Western Reserve University where she completed her MA. She received her PhD from Union Institute and University, focusing her studies on African American Literature and Creative Writing.
On March 9, from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m., the college will celebrate this monumental work and Dr. Brown’s dedication in sharing the untold story of Bennett. Held in the Global Learning Center, 521 Gorrell Street, Greensboro, the book launch will feature an author talk and reading, panel discussion and reception. The event is free and open to the public but you must RSVP by calling (336) 517-2226 or email email@example.com.