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Colored Waiting Room : Empowering the Original and the New Civil Rights Movements; Conversations Between
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Extraordinary conversations between a confidant of Martin Luther King Jr. and a modern-day activist lead to the game-changing realizations that a second-wave civil rights movement is unfolding and that we must embrace the lessons of the past to effect lasting change. In Montgomery, AL, one of the most vibrant and controversial hot spots of the American civil rights movement, Nelson Malden’s barbershop was where its courageous leaders, including his friend Martin Luther King Jr., gathered to organize protests and boycotts and to write the speeches that would help criminalize racial segregation and discrimination. But where there was once the fight against the KKK, today there is the fight against radical white nationalists. Then, there were the murders of Emmett Till, Medgar Evans, and Jimmie Lee Jackson; today there are the killings of Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, and Trayvon Martin. Then, there was the 16th St. Baptist Church bombing; today there is the Charleston Church massacre. Then, there were the Black Panthers; today there is Black Lives Matter. In The Colored Waiting Room, activist Kevin Shird heads from his hometown of Baltimore, MD to Montgomery to meet eighty-four-year-old Nelson Malden and contextualize the significance of recent racially motivated events, and the demonstrations is Charlottesville, Ferguson, Baltimore, and around the country. The result is a groundbreaking understanding of today’s burgeoning second-wave civil rights movement and the urgent actions necessary for racial equality and change. Here, Shird raises the profound question of whether blacks are still in a colored waiting room, biding their time and waiting for racial equality to be the norm. He also shares compelling personal realizations on the lost connection between African American youth and their ancestors’ fight against slavery and Jim Crow laws, asking throughout this pivotal volume, how far can we go without knowing where we’ve come from?