Blogs > Liberty and Power > Black Maverick, Forgotten Man

May 14, 2010 5:41 pm

Black Maverick, Forgotten Man

Fame is fleeting, and those who during their lifetime attain the debatable benefits of public acclaim will often, upon their death, have their memory entombed with them. Such is the case with T.R.M. Howard, who for a time was one of America’s most widely known, colorful, and respected civil rights pioneers. The husband and wife team of David and Linda Beito have labored nearly a decade to write a biography, Black Maverick, in hopes that they can raise the man’s memory from the grave. The book was worth the wait.

Well-written and deeply researched, the authors immerse the reader into Dr. Howard’s world, one that crossed paths with a litany of American greats such as MLK, Jesse Jackson, Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, and Jesse Owens. Four days after seeing Dr. Howard give an impassioned speech at MLK’s Baptist Church, Rosa Parks took her famous stand against Jim Crow. She insisted that it was the thought of Emmett Till, who’s lynching was the subject of Dr. Howard’s speech, which spurred her to refuse to give up her bus seat.

As to why the memory of a man with such a litany of famous friends and accomplishments – a man of whom the authors insist “the modern Civil Rights movement could not have succeeded” (p.228) -- should have faded so quickly and completely from our collective memory, this book will answer to any reader’s satisfaction.

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Keith Halderman - 5/15/2010

I agree.

David T. Beito - 5/14/2010

Thank you! A very fair and well-written review.

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