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Size: 6 x 9
Illustrations: 12 b&w halftones
John Herbert Roper, Sr.
Published: Aug 26 2020
Published: Jul 20 2012
Published: Aug 15 2012
Published: Aug 15 2012
The inclusion of this book in the Open Carolina collection is made possible by the generous funding of
John Herbert Roper Sr., is the Richardson Professor of American History at Emory & Henry College in Emory, Virginia. He is the author of five volumes of southern history, including the biographies C. Vann Woodward, Southerner and U. B. Phillips: A Southern Mind.
"It is Roper's steady development of character and intellectual breadth that is most engaging and instructive."—Georgia Library Quarterly
"Roper's biography of one of the important Americans of the 20th century is an important contribution to U.S. History. Immediate and accessible, the life of Benjamin E. Mays reveals his firsthand experiences with racial prejudice: the violence of the Phoenix race riots, where whites came close to murdering the four-year old Mays, the continuing hard-core southern racism, and the more nuanced racism in the North, less violent but nevertheless cutting deep. Roper illuminates how Mays struggled to come to understand the humanity of his oppressors and become the spiritual godfather of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Civil Rights Movement. Mays had a life of great import because of his life-time determination to fight racism and his patience in preparing himself with the education and experience necessary to address it. Roper skillfully evokes the complexity, tension, and contingence of the black experience within the political and cultural context of the times. This thoughtful and substantial narrative is so compelling the reader does not want to put the book down."—Orville Vernon Burton, author of The Age of Lincoln and President of The Southern Historical Association
"From a rambling South Carolina crossroads to the heights of power, Benjamin Elijah Mays defied astonishing odds as he distinguished himself as a public intellectual, college educator, and social activist. With captivating detail, Magnificent Mays chronicles the life journey of one of the most eloquent and prophetic minds of the twentieth century. This work stands as a moving tribute to a resolute champion of the modern Civil Rights Movement."—Bobby Donaldson, Associate Professor of History and African American Studies, University of South Carolina
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