Learning from Birmingham: A Journey Into History and Home


Product Details

University Alabama Press
Publish Date
5.91 X 8.9 X 0.55 inches | 0.65 pounds

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About the Author

Julie Buckner Armstrong is professor of English at the University of South Florida. She is author of Mary Turner and the Memory of Lynching and editor of The Cambridge Companion to American Civil Rights Literature.


"So much of this book speaks to the process of recovering a history more accurate and coherent than the stories . . . gleaned from our formal or informal educations and also provides commentary on the ways in which history is told or not told, taught or not taught, remembered or misremembered."
--B. J. Hollars, author of The Road South: Personal Stories of the Freedom Riders

"Having long educated students and teachers about the "modern" Civil Rights Movement in the US, Julie Buckner Armstrong takes herself 'back to school' in Learning from Birmingham. She returns to this iconic city of her birth to trace her family's history in order to tell a larger story about the history of her hometown, complete with an unflinching view of its legendary violence, resilient racism, and the elusive redemption it seems determined to find."
--Deborah E. McDowell, Alice Griffin Professor of English at the University of Virginia

"Armstrong describes how . . . Birmingham--a city of oppression, and repression, and finally progression--'laid the foundation for the work of waking up that needed to be done' in the world. It is but one of many profound truths in these pages . . . When you dare to stare it in the face--as Armstrong has done through family, and history, and honest self‐reflection--you can't help but see yourself, and your own responses to injustice. When you really see a place like Birmingham, you cannot help but want to change the world."
--John Archibald, Pulitzer prizewinning columnist and author of Shaking the Gates of Hell