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Archive for the ‘African-American Civil Rights Movement’ Category

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a book written by a girl who was a mulatto born in the America during the period of slavery. The book outlines the travails of the slaves in America before the abolishment of slavery. It is another matter that even after abolition of slavery, discrimination continues till date.

The books describes in detail how the slaves were forced to labour, how they were exploited and punished at the whims and fancies of the masters.

The girl in question leads a relatively better life than many other real negros as she happens to have a relatively lighter shade. This is also a problem for her as her massa who is much older than her keeps making passes at her and makes her life miserable.

How she eventually manages to escape the clutches of her massa and how she reaches the free states is about half of the book.

A good read to understand how the white exploited the darker race and how inhuman humans can be.

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The movie is based on a single incident in the life of the Martin Luther King Jr. He leads a group of African Americans on a march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. This was the time when the African Americans were being stalled from voting in the elections although by law they had the right to vote. The whites were in charge of the offices where people had to register to vote. The whites asked answerable questions to disqualify the African Americans from voting.

Martin Luther King Jr. plans for a peaceful march from Selma in Alabama to Montgomery to highlight the right denied to the African Americans. He meets with the President Lydon Johnson, but fails to convince the President to take action leading him to decide on the march.

He is also going through a crisis in his life. His wife is disillusioned with his long absences at home. He is unable to participate in the march. His followers start the march and the bunch of police offices under a white ruddy sheriff do not hesitate to beat and shoot the marchers and send them back. In the process a few of them are killed too.

King is forced to start the march the following day. He appeals to white clergy to join him and soon many white clergy and other white people join him on the march the following day. Seeing King in the front the police forces disperse. But King stops too and turns back, no wishing to risk another carnage. But one white clerygman is beaten to death by the whites opposed to granting of rights to the African Americans.

A few days later after speaking to the President again he starts the march and this time finishes it without any major incidents. They are taunted through the march, but they maintain peace and manage to reach Montgomery. The Governor of Alabama and the President are forced to take cognizance of this march and the President urges the congress to extend voting rights without any restrictions.

A very nicely presented movie. Has brought in a resolve in me to read more about Martin Luther King Jr. who was the pacifist face of the movement and Malcolm X who was the radical face of the movement.


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