Fighting the Devil in Dixie by Wayne Greenhaw
How Civil Rights Activists Took on the Ku Klux Klan in Alabama

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Examining the growth of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) following the birth of the civil rights movement, this book is filled with tales of the heroic efforts to halt their rise to power. Shortly after the success of the Montgomery bus boycott, the KKK—determined to keep segregation as the way of life in Alabama—staged a resurgence, and the strong-armed leadership of Governor George C. Wallace, who defied the new civil rights laws, empowered the Klan’s most violent members. Although Wallace’s power grew, not everyone accepted his unjust policies, and blacks such as Martin Luther King Jr., J. L. Chestnut, and Bernard LaFayette began fighting back in the courthouses and schoolhouses, as did young southern lawyers such as Charles “Chuck” Morgan, who became the ACLU’s southern director; Morris Dees, who cofounded the Southern Poverty Law Center; and Bill Baxley, Alabama attorney general, who successfully prosecuted the bomber of Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church and legally halted some of Governor Wallace’s agencies designed to slow down integration. Dozens of exciting, extremely well-told stories demonstrate how blacks defied violence and whites defied public ostracism and indifference in the face of kidnappings, bombings, and murders.

About Wayne Greenhaw

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For nearly 17 years, Wayne Greenhaw covered Alabama state government, the Wallace administrations, and civil rights for The Alabama Journal and The Montgomery Advertiser. From 1965 until 1977, he interviewed governors, civil rights leaders, and Ku Klux Klansmen throughout the South. Many of these stories were published in The New York Times and in national magazines. In 2006 he was presented the Harper Lee Award as Alabama's distinguished writer. Mr. Greenhaw passed away in spring 2011.
Published January 1, 2011 by Chicago Review Press. 336 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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The author moves more or less chronologically, beginning with the fallout from Rosa Parks’s refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus and the “Not Guilty” verdict delivered on two Klansmen accused of the bombing of Montgomery’s First Baptist Church in 1957, and concluding with Wallace’s se...

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