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'A More Beautiful and Terrible History' Examines Neglected Aspects of the Civil Rights Era

Photo courtesy of Amazon

Jeanne Theoharis has a new book on shelves following the success of her award-winning work, The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks. She teaches political science  at Brooklyn College.

Her new book, A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History, focuses on areas of the civil rights movement that were glossed over.  Areas such as the role women and youth played in the movement, and what she calls the “national fable” under which Theoharis says the United States has tried to mask its true feelings about civil rights leaders and the movement altogether.

Theoharis says she titled the book after a quote from James Baldwin. "This history is sort of both more beautiful and more terrible than we know."

In her book, she explains how racism and discrimination have been portrayed across the country over the years and how some facts have been erased.. Theoharis says the state that the country is in today proves that it’s time for these stories to be told. "The narrative that we get of the Civil Rights Movement is distorted and sanitized."

Teran Powell joined WUWM in the fall of 2017 as the station’s very first Eric Von Fellow.