Harper's Magazine on Black Maverick
T.R.M. Howard was not everyone’s idea of a civil rights hero, and his accomplishments have been widely neglected. But as historians David Beito and Linda Royster Beito demonstrate in their book Black Maverick: T.R.M. Howard’s Fight for Civil Rights and Economic Power, he was in fact one of the most effective black civil rights leaders of his generation and a key figure in bringing civil rights to Mississippi and empowering black voters in Chicago. I put six questions to David Beito about his new book.
1. Howard’s life puts him at the center of a number of historic events, usually playing a vital role, particularly in the civil rights movement of the fifties and sixties, yet his name rarely figures in the short list of leadership figures cited in the media. Has his role been underappreciated?
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Jeffrey Rogers Hummel - 6/17/2009
David: I've been out of town, but I wanted to pass along a belated congratulations for all the well-deserved attention your book has been receiving. Jeff