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Alabama v. King: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Criminal Trial That Launched the Civil Rights Movement

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"Poignant, sometimes harrowing." – Wall Street Journal The defense lawyer for Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, the Selma marchers, and other civil rights heroes reveals the true story of the historic trial that made Dr. King a national hero.   Fred D. Gray was just twenty-four years old when he became the defense lawyer for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a young ministe "Poignant, sometimes harrowing." – Wall Street Journal The defense lawyer for Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, the Selma marchers, and other civil rights heroes reveals the true story of the historic trial that made Dr. King a national hero.   Fred D. Gray was just twenty-four years old when he became the defense lawyer for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a young minister who had become the face of the bus boycott that had rocked the city of in Montgomery, Alabama. In this incredible history, Gray takes us behind the scenes of that landmark case, including such unforgettable moments as:   *Martin Luther King's courageous response to a bomb threat on his own home *Poignant, searing testimony that exposed the South's racist systems to an worldwide audience *The conspiracy to destroy Gray's career and draft him into the Vietnam War *The unforgettable moment when a Supreme Court ruling brought the courtroom to a halt   Alabama v. King captures a pivotal moment in the fight for equality, from the eyes of the lawyer who Dr. King called "the brilliant young leader who later became the chief counsel for the protest movement."  


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"Poignant, sometimes harrowing." – Wall Street Journal The defense lawyer for Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, the Selma marchers, and other civil rights heroes reveals the true story of the historic trial that made Dr. King a national hero.   Fred D. Gray was just twenty-four years old when he became the defense lawyer for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a young ministe "Poignant, sometimes harrowing." – Wall Street Journal The defense lawyer for Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, the Selma marchers, and other civil rights heroes reveals the true story of the historic trial that made Dr. King a national hero.   Fred D. Gray was just twenty-four years old when he became the defense lawyer for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a young minister who had become the face of the bus boycott that had rocked the city of in Montgomery, Alabama. In this incredible history, Gray takes us behind the scenes of that landmark case, including such unforgettable moments as:   *Martin Luther King's courageous response to a bomb threat on his own home *Poignant, searing testimony that exposed the South's racist systems to an worldwide audience *The conspiracy to destroy Gray's career and draft him into the Vietnam War *The unforgettable moment when a Supreme Court ruling brought the courtroom to a halt   Alabama v. King captures a pivotal moment in the fight for equality, from the eyes of the lawyer who Dr. King called "the brilliant young leader who later became the chief counsel for the protest movement."  

30 review for Alabama v. King: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Criminal Trial That Launched the Civil Rights Movement

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kusaimamekirai

    “In the sermon Martin Luther King had delivered to his congregation at the Dexter Avenue church a day earlier, he had discussed what he referred to as ‘this bus situation’. He related a conversation he’d had in which a man ‘discussed the peace being destroyed in the community, the destroying of good race relations. I agree that it is more tension now, but peace is not merely the absence of tension, but the presence of justice.... It is true if the Negro accepts his place, accepts exploitation an “In the sermon Martin Luther King had delivered to his congregation at the Dexter Avenue church a day earlier, he had discussed what he referred to as ‘this bus situation’. He related a conversation he’d had in which a man ‘discussed the peace being destroyed in the community, the destroying of good race relations. I agree that it is more tension now, but peace is not merely the absence of tension, but the presence of justice.... It is true if the Negro accepts his place, accepts exploitation and injustice, there will be peace...and if peace means this, I don’t want peace.’” “A reporter driving downtown wrote of picking up an elderly woman walking to her job and asking her why, at her age, she was participating in the protest. ‘I am not walking for myself’, the woman replied, ‘I am walking for the young people coming on behind me.’” If one takes a cursory look at the title of this book, they’d assume that Martin Luther King being the man on trial, is at the center of this story. Yet in fact, as with much of the Civil Rights era, King played an important part as the face of movement, but so much work was also done by those history doesn’t remember as well. Here we have defense attorney Fred Gray, at the time of the trial one of only 2 lawyers in the state of Alabama. Claudette Colvin, the black teenager who refused to give up her seat on the bus, predating the better known Rosa Parks. And perhaps most importantly, thousands of ordinary black men and women who for one year refused to ride Montgomery city buses in protest of the humiliating day to day treatment they were subjected to. As this book primarily deals with the trial of Dr. King, we are exposed to the testimony from these black men and women as to what they had to endure. Perhaps we all imagine what indignities they were forced to suffer but actually reading their first hand accounts is sobering reading. In addition to a barrage of insults from white passengers and bus drivers, blacks would enter the bus, pay their fare, and then be forced to exit the bus and enter from the back. Those that agreed to that humiliation would often find as they reached the back door that the driver would then suddenly pull the bus away, leaving them stranded and more frustrated than before. This perhaps is nothing compared to the physical abuse of bus drivers who would grab, kick, and close the doors on black passengers exiting the bus. The courage these everyday people showed in testifying at King’s trial is in and of itself worthy of respect but that so many of them, often poorly educated, also knew enough to deflect, obfuscate, and mislead in their answer to prosecutors seeking to link King to the bus boycott: witness: ‘The persons drove cars and used the gas’, Erna Dungee responded. prosecutor: ‘Persons driving?’ witness:‘That drove the people’. prosecutor: Several paid men?’ witness:‘That is all right.’ prosecutor: ‘Who are they?’ witness:‘Persons who burned the gas.’ “After trying unsuccessfully to find out all the people who served with Lewis, the prosecutor asked, ‘What has the transportation committee done in reference to transportation?’. Lewis could barely believe the question. The answer seemed so obvious he repeated it as if to confirm he’d heard it correctly. ‘What has the transportation committee done in reference to transportation?’. ‘That’s right’. He responded with the only possible answer. ‘We transported people’.” It all makes for highly compelling reading (King would eventually be convicted and fined after a lengthy appeal, which he paid) of a seismic moment in America’s history. Much like with most of the segregated South in this period, whites would reject compromise in favor of blunt force. Force that in the face of the love and magnanimity of the Civil Rights movement, would invariably turn against them as they lost the hearts and minds of their cities, states, and the world.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Harris

    Another Dan Abrams book complete and I must write another review to keep up my streak of commenting on all his books. From an historical perspective, this is the most important trial that Abrams has written about in terms of its long term effects and impact on society. Bringing in Fred Gray to co-write the book is pure genius. Gray's firsthand perspective representing King from the inception gives us an insider's account that would be lacking had he not been involved in the writing. This book doe Another Dan Abrams book complete and I must write another review to keep up my streak of commenting on all his books. From an historical perspective, this is the most important trial that Abrams has written about in terms of its long term effects and impact on society. Bringing in Fred Gray to co-write the book is pure genius. Gray's firsthand perspective representing King from the inception gives us an insider's account that would be lacking had he not been involved in the writing. This book does a great job of providing the reader with just the right amount of background to set the scene without overloading with decades of information about the racial strife in Montgomery. The trial itself is lacking in excitement which isn't the fault of the writers or the attorneys - it's a simple fact that not all trials have that quality. However, I imagine as a spectator at the trial it was a highly rewarding experience for the mostly Black audience to witness their friends wreak havoc on the prosecution. Take this line from the book as a prime example: "But as the prosecution was to learn, the English language, in all of its nuances, provides plenty of hiding places for those clever enough to seek them." The testimony in this trial highlights how many of the witnesses in telling the truth were able to avoid telling the whole breadth of their knowledge on a subject matter. The reader is able to see how incredibly frustrating this proves for the prosecutors who clearly thought they'd be able to outwit all of the defense witnesses and get a quick guilty verdict. Through numerous witnesses, the reader gets accounts of some of the atrocities that Black passengers experienced on a regular basis riding on buses. The verbal and physical abuse, not to mention the psychological abuse, is deplorable. I'm hoping that Abrams keeps up his pace of coming out with a book each year.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Mitchell Mercer

    The perspectives of Fred Gray here make Alabama v King an excellent book for understanding the nuance and early history of the modern Civil Rights movement as it began during the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The detailed retelling of witnesses from the courtroom, the perspectives of leaders and their lawyers, and the views of white Southerners add needed context to the heroic but often misinterpreted Rosa Park's single-action narrative of the Mongomery Bus Boycott. The perspectives of Fred Gray here make Alabama v King an excellent book for understanding the nuance and early history of the modern Civil Rights movement as it began during the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The detailed retelling of witnesses from the courtroom, the perspectives of leaders and their lawyers, and the views of white Southerners add needed context to the heroic but often misinterpreted Rosa Park's single-action narrative of the Mongomery Bus Boycott.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Bookclubbish

    Categories African American & Black, 20th Century United States History, Social Activists Biographies & Autobiographies

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mr. Book

  6. 4 out of 5

    LOIS L FRAZEE

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    Jim

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    Susan G. Tate

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    Cindy

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    Elin

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    Barry

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    MAE TAYLOR

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    S Collins

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    Jodie

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    Sarah

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    Jeanette

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    Mallory Mims

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    Preston Ramirez

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    Whitney

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    Sarah

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    Cosmic Jae

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    Abraham

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    Peter

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    Jennifer Edinger

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    Matthew

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    Richard Hilliker

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    Brittany

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    Jason

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    zeham ahmed

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bobbi

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