Whereas many individuals might have a baseline understanding of the Civil Rights Motion, they could not at all times know the “nitty gritty particulars,” based on Deborah Douglas, award-winning journalist and Eugene S. Pulliam Distinguished Visiting Professor.

“We might not at all times know particularly what was occurring within the varied cities I highlighted within the e-book, which is one thing that I attempted to do, to clarify– what had been the actual tensions concerned in every space that I went to?” Douglas mentioned. “I put collectively exhaustive timelines to clarify and contextualize that.”

Douglas explores these particulars together with way more in her new journey information and historical past e-book, “U.S Civil Rights Trial: A Traveler’s Information to the Individuals, Locations, and Occasions that Made the Motion,” that she printed in January 2021. 

The e-book follows the official path of the Civil Rights Movement that was established in 2018, making Douglas’ e-book the primary to pursue the newly shaped path. 

Not solely will readers know the Black-owned companies or festivals and occasions to hit as they journey to Little Rock or Atlanta, however will likely be touring with function, because the e-book shares the histories, tales, and voices of the varied locations, individuals, and occasions she guides you too. 

Douglas mentioned the unique intention of her e-book was to simply be a journey information, telling the viewers what museums, historic spots, or nationwide parks to go to alongside the path. Nevertheless, as she launched into her journey, she mentioned, “It ended up being a lot greater than that.”

Whereas some journey guides deal with historical past, few achieve this within the degree of element as Douglas’. To her information, her e-book is the primary journey information to cowl a historic interval on this method, the place historical past itself is the theme. 

Douglas rigorously scrutinizes supply materials from the motion, synthesizing info and sharing her personal impressions.“I noticed individuals write historical past and other people have agendas,” Douglas mentioned. “I interrogated each supply that I checked out and explored what their specific agenda was, after which I attempted to parse the info after making all of those concerns.”

Not solely does Douglas take into account it a historical past e-book, however a “roadmap for resistance,” the place readers can “have a look at the story of people that had been concerned within the motion, how they thought of issues, and the way they strategized to determine how you concentrate on the problems, after which put these practices into play.”

Douglas made connections between the Civil Rights Motion to the trendy actions of in the present day such because the Black Lives Matter Motion, offering sources about them within the e-book. 

One more distinctive addition to Douglas’ e-book is the road-trip playlists she curated to associate with every chapter. Douglas mentioned she “grew up on the street,” touring typically from households’ homes in Memphis, Chicago, and Detroit, the place music was an vital a part of these journeys. The songs within the playlist are particular to every place featured within the e-book, corresponding to Phil Ochs’ “Ballad of Medgar Evers” that goes with the Mississippi chapter.  

Whereas she traveled alone, the views included within the e-book weren’t restricted to hers, she made many mates alongside the best way, whether or not they had been specialists, activists, or full strangers.  Douglas mentioned she took excursions with official tour guides and talked to strangers to get a distinct perspective, then would discover extra to try to perceive that perspective. A query she would regularly ask individuals was, “What do individuals on the town know that folks outdoors the city may not know?”

Through the course of, Douglas mentioned she would take into consideration journalists and different profitable individuals she respects and suppose, “What qualities have they got?” She mentioned she thought to herself, “I’m not wealthy. I don’t work at an enormous group. I don’t have individuals to do issues for me, however what I do have is hustle.”

Helis Sikk, a visiting assistant professor within the division of girls’s and gender research on the College of South Florida and a former school member at DePauw, would argue that Douglas is amongst these profitable individuals and journalists she herself speaks of. 

“I believe she is such a powerhouse of an individual,” Sikk mentioned. “DePauw is extremely fortunate to have somebody as energetic in journalism as Professor Douglas to show there. College students get to study immediately from one of many nation’s high journalists.” 

Sikk mentioned she is happy to learn “U.S. Civil Rights Path” quickly, as Douglas “by no means disappoints.”

Douglas mentioned that her e-book is included as a required textual content for the journey writing class she is instructing this semester. Not solely will her college students study from the historical past included within the e-book, however it would spark conversations on creating voice and the extent of element and specificity that’s required for writing, all of that are evident in Douglas’ writing. 

Junior Louise Gallup is a scholar in Douglas’ journey writing class and is trying ahead to studying the e-book not solely due to the historic content material however due to the prospect to study from her professor first-hand. This offers us the prospect to soak up how the strategies and units Professor Douglas teaches us about in journey writing are executed,” Gallup mentioned. 

Based on Douglas, many points addressed within the Civil Rights Motion are nonetheless being labored on proper now, corresponding to voter suppression and the passing of the anti-lynching act. “I simply hope that this e-book encourages individuals to have conversations with their relations and their mates as a result of once more, the e-book is in regards to the previous, nevertheless it’s additionally about now,” Douglas mentioned. 


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