I’ve Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition and the Mississippi Freedom Struggle, With a New Preface

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This momentous work offers a groundbreaking history of the early civil rights movement in the South with new material that situates the book in the context of subsequent movement literature.

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“With this history of the civil rights movement focusing on Everyman-turned-hero, the commoner as crusader for justice, Payne challenges the old idea that history is the biography of great men.”―Kirkus Reviews

“Remarkably astute in its judgments and strikingly sophisticated in its analyses . . . it is one of the most significant studies of the Black freedom struggle yet published.”―David J. Garrow, author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning Bearing the Cross

“This extremely important book clearly reveals the logic of how ordinary people propelled the civil rights movement. . . . [It] provides a basis for optimism as we approach the next century.”―Aldon Morris, author of The Origins of the Civil Rights Movement

About the Author

Charles M. Payne is Professor and Bass Fellow, African American Studies, History and Sociology, Duke University

This momentous work offers a groundbreaking history of the early civil rights movement in the South with new material that situates the book in the context of subsequent movement literature.

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