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My family, I come from maybe about four generations of activists and community leaders. Many of those who came before me are now deceased and didn't get a chance to see this.

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But I'm so proud of my city," Smith said. My city, little bitty Montgomery, Alabama, a place known for racial tension actually came together and did something positive and historic. Tiffany Pickens, 31, said the city has never been represented in a way that mirrors its demographics. And I did. Dorsey Nelson, 67, who was born and raised in Montgomery, said he hopes the new mayor will continue to build on the progress made by the previous one.

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I mean it's like - know I use the term black simply because he's black, but we're not gonna measure him by his color. We're going to measure him by what he does for the city of Montgomery," he said. I am white.

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Holder decision, the U. Supreme Court struck down the coverage formula used to determine which jurisdictions need to get such approval. Consequently, with that decision in place, Alabama is leading efforts that make it more difficult for minorities, young people, and those with disabilities to vote. House of Representatives Committee on House Administration. Alabama is regularly below the national average for voter turnout — with only Alabama has failed to adopt popular, effective programs that increase participation such as no-excuse absentee voting and early voting.

Instead, he sees it as a privilege reserved only for those with the time and resources to navigate the outdated and archaic system he oversees. More than , additional voters were listed as inactive in , a precursor to removal from the rolls.

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The U. Board of Education , white resistance in Wilcox County was fierce. Local whites were quick to form a White Citizens' Council, and it became "an important part of their community" p. Fleming's description of grassroots organizing by the SNCC in Wilcox County is an informative and valuable contribution to the history of the organization. The author accurately depicts the difficulty of civil rights activism in the Alabama black belt while simultaneously exposing the political infighting caused by class-based and generational divisions within the black community.

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Fleming's work is also proficient in its discussion of the limited success of African-American attempts to create a more egalitarian electoral process and in describing the failure to ever bring about meaningful school integration in Wilcox County. She points out that after a brief period of minimal desegregation, the county's schools re-segregated and most of the white students attended an all-white private school.

As one of Fleming's interviewees noted several years ago, "It's and we're still segregated" p. Overall, In the Shadow of Selma is a successful attempt to personalize the African-American freedom struggle and to shed light on the movement in rural Alabama. Even so, there are several criticisms that can be made about the book. As at least one other review has pointed out, Fleming is occasionally too reliant on oral history interview. Fleming rarely corroborates these accounts with contemporary sources.

Timeline: Key Moments in the American Civil Rights Movement - HistoryExtra

This is mostly due to the fact that many of these stories are previously untold and underreported, but, since the author also notes the significant attention Wilcox County received from the press during the demonstrations of the s, it is likely that at least some of these protests were captured by journalistic accounts. Also, Fleming's discussion of the white community is too often reduced to descriptions of individual acts of intimidation without adequately explaining the white power structure.

The focus, of course, is on the African Americans who reside in Wilcox County, but much of their story is derived from their antagonistic relationship with the white powers there. Though Fleming discusses the demeaning aspects of racial etiquette for African Americans and the insistence from whites that blacks submit to the culture of segregation, she never fully describes how whites "managed" the Jim Crow system.

Montgomery elected its first black mayor in 200 years. This is why it matters

These are minor criticisms, however, when compared to what the book does well. Though historians have long ago abandoned a view of the civil rights movement that begins with the Brown decision and ends with the federal civil rights legislation of and , that view persists in the public mind. Hopefully, Fleming's book will help correct this misinterpretation. The author skillfully recounts the continuity of black protests from the late nineteenth century to the present day with compelling personal histories.

As one of Fleming's subjects succinctly put it, "We knew how to boycott a long time before Martin Luther King came in" p.

Fleming is also adept at demonstrating that violence played an important role in black protests even during the so-called "non-violent" period of civil rights activism.