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SPRING 2009 CATALOG

We Had Sneakers, They Had Guns
The Kids Who Fought for Civil Rights in Mississippi

 
Tracy Sugarman

Cloth $34.95    |    978-0-8156-0938-4    |    2009

In We Had Sneakers, They Had Guns, Sugarman chronicles the sacrifices, tragedies, and triumphs of that unprecedented moment in our nation’s history. Sugarman’s unique reportorial art, in word and image, makes this book a vital record of our nation’s past.

Reviews
"This account of the Freedom Summer is significant by virtue of the insights into the lives of the youth of the Civil Rights Movement....This book is a testament to the courageous civil rights workers whose perseverance and courage will inspire readers."
—Library Journal

"In 1966 Hill and Wang published Sugarman’s Stranger at the Gates: A Summer in Mississippi. A journalist and illustrator, Sugarman provided an activist’s perspective and analysis of preparing for and participating in the so-called Freedom Summer of 1964. His narrative and visual descriptions of the struggle for civil rights in the Mississippi delta are riveting. The present title revisits the topic. Indeed, the first two parts of the book condense the earlier work. But here Sugarman, who retains the blend of narrative and illustration, focuses on key individuals—black and white—who affected him. The most recognizable of these people is Fannie Lou Hamer, and her death in 1977 and Sugarman’s decision to produce a documentary on her life unite part 3. The book’s final segment evolves from Sugarman’s return to the Mississippi delta in the fall of 2001. He reacquaints the reader with several members of the Freedom Summer cohort, and through exploring their memories assesses the personal and civic impacts of that noble crusade. Though the book lacks scholarly apparatus, it will interest those who wish to acquaint themselves with 20th-century southern history or the Civil Rights Movement. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates; general readers."
—Choice

Description
No one experienced the 1964 Freedom Summer quite like Tracy Sugarman. As an illustrator and journalist, Sugarman covered the nearly one thousand student volunteers who traveled to the Mississippi Delta to assist black citizens in the South in registering to vote. He interviewed these activists, along with local civil rights leaders and black and white residents not directly involved in the movement, and drew the people and events that made the summer one of the most heroic chapters in America’s long march toward racial justice.

In We Had Sneakers, They Had Guns, Sugarman chronicles the sacrifices, tragedies, and triumphs of that unprecedented moment in our nation’s history. Two white students and one black student were slain in the struggle, many were beaten and hundreds arrested, and churches and homes were burned to the ground by the opponents of equality. Yet the example of Freedom Summer— whites united with heroic black Mississippians to challenge apartheid—resonated across the nation. The United States Congress was finally moved to pass the civil rights legislation that enfranchised the millions of black Americans who had been waiting for equal rights for a century.

Blending oral history with memoir, We Had Sneakers, They Had Guns draws the reader into the lives of Sugarman’s subjects, showing the passion and naiveté of the volunteers, the bravery of the civil rights leaders, and the candid, sometimes troubling reactions of the black and white Delta residents. Sugarman’s unique reportorial art, in word and image, makes this book a vital record of our nation’s past.

Author
Tracy Sugarman is a nationally recognized illustrator whose art has appeared in magazines and books, and has been featured on PBS, ABC TV, NBC TV, and CBS TV. His entire collection of art from World War II has been acquired by the U.S. Library of Congress. He is the author of Stranger at the Gates: A Summer in Mississippi, My War: A Love Story in Letters and Drawings, and Drawing Conclusions: An Artist Discovers His America, the latter published by Syracuse University Press.

6 x 9, 320 pages, 64 black-and-white illustrations


We Had Sneakers, They Had Guns

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