New book on U.S. civil rights trail

Breaking News

If you drive six miles southwest of Anniston, Ala., you'll pass the spot where a bus was bombed in 1961 and the passengers - civil rights activists known as Freedom Riders - were beaten by a mob.

There's no marker there, but it's one of 400 places in a new book called "On the Road to Freedom: A Guided Tour of the Civil Rights Trail" (Algonquin Books, $18.95).

Many of the sites included in the book are well-known - like the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn., where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, now the National Civil Rights Museum. But Charles E. Cobb Jr., who wrote "On the Road to Freedom," says he also wanted to include little-known places - like the road near Anniston - "for the person who has a real interest in the civil rights movement and is not necessarily your ordinary tourist."

While "On the Road to Freedom" is a travel guide, organized by destination, with street addresses for historic sites, it is also full of stories. Some are known to every schoolchild - like Rosa Parks' refusal to give her seat on the bus to a white passenger - but others will be new to many readers, like a 1944 incident in which a black woman named Irene Morgan was jailed for refusing to yield her seat on a Greyhound bus headed from Virginia to Maryland. The conflict led the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down segregated seating on interstate travel.

comments powered by Disqus