Prince of Peace: A Memoir of an African-American Attorney, Who Came of Age in Birmingham During the Civil Rights Movement

eBook (PDF), 152 Pages
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Prince of Peace: A Memoir of an African-American Attorney, Who Came of Age in Birmingham During the Civil Rights Movement
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  • By dutertre.eliz
    Feb 13, 2010
    As the title indicates, the book is an autobiography, but it is not only that. In fact, although it is non-fiction, the style is so engaging that it could almost be described as a bildungsroman novel. Indeed, the reader is enchanted as the author fondly remembers, and shares laughter over, the antics of his childhood. Although he and his family are not wealthy by economic standards, the word "poverty" means nothing at all to the child, because his world is full of wonder, love and joy. After young Prince has become a pre-teen, he, the city child, together with his country cousins, get into a great deal of fascinating mischief together. Basically, however, the reader learns that the youth is a fine person who works hard at school and intends to follow his parents' precepts in order to get ahead in the world. At this point in time, he seems only vaguely aware that the existence of white folks might impinge upon his projects, although he gets along quite well with the white... More > general practitioner his family goes to – vaccinations excepted, of course ! When the Civil Rights Movement reaches Birmingham, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., comes to speak, but, rather than going to hear him, Prince obediently remains in school. Black churches are bombed and, hearing the explosions, he leaves his own church to go see what's happening... until he realizes the danger into which he has walked and escapes the crowd as quickly as possible. Now, what began as the story of an ordinary child in extraordinary times becomes that of a young black man who, because he is an excellent student, is sent away to finish high school in the majority-white North. He is welcomed as a member of his white host family and goes to a white school. The details of his adjustment there are fascinating, particularly in regards to the relationships that develop between this exchange student, members of his host family and his peers. For the first time, really, he is faced with the complexities of inter-racial interaction. Here, in the North, he has no choice but to see, recognize, and combat racial injustice. When the well-brought-up young man has graduated from high school with flying colors, the reader is astonished to learn that, while a college student, he became seriously involved with members of the Black Panthers and other Black Power groups. He left school, then, and moved to New York City where he continued his activism while working to improve communities. The last part of the book brings us back to the South, then North again to Harvard Law School and, finally, to Memphis and the present-day Prince. That Prince is a peaceful one who believes in, and works towards, liberty and justice for all. He is a Giver, a Helper, a Listener and a Friend in need. Young people who know nothing about the Sixties will enjoy this book for everything it shows them about Americans, whether black or white, from the North or from the South. Of course, they will learn a great deal as well. Older Americans will find that the book is impossible to put down, as it encourages them not only to remember times gone by, but also to think about their relationships with other people, whatever their differences in race, religion or ethnic origin. Students and teachers of American and/or African-American Studies will value the book for the unusual and informative way in which it treats the Civil Rights era, the militant groups of the late Sixties, and inter-racial relationships. Elizabeth Dutertre< Less
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Product Details

September 28, 2011
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6.54 MB
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