A Traveler’s Guide to the Civil Rights Movement by Jim Carrier (review)

A Traveler's Guide to the Civil Rights Movement by Jim Carrier (Harvest Books, 2004)

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A Traveler’s Guide to the Civil Rights Movement by Jim Carrier (review)

by S. Willoughby Anderson
Southern Cultures, Vol. 10, No. 4: Winter 2004

Harvest Books, 2004

Jim Carrier’s Traveler’s Guide to the Civil Rights Movement begins the reader’s tour not in Birmingham or Selma or the Mississippi Delta. Starting instead with the Declaration of Independence in Washington, D.C., Carrier anchors his trail of civil rights struggle in the defining foundations of “civil rights” in this country. This keen insight grounds the entire guide. When Carrier takes us to Virginia, civil rights stories emerge from Civil War battlefields, and lesser-known movement battlegrounds such as Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina receive substantial attention. With this refreshingly broad view of civil rights and the movement, Carrier crafts a riveting historical guide that links the denial of citizenship to slaves in the 1780s through to the fight in Woolworth’s across the South in the 1960s. Drawn by a sense of connection to the past and the urgency of political reforms in the present, more and more people venture throughout the South every year on Civil Rights movement and African American history tours. A Traveler’s Guide is a unique contribution to this new kind of “heritage tourism.”