Carry Me Home

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

The year 1963 was the most turbulent in the history of the civil rights movement. In the spring of that year, child demonstrators were attacked by Birmingham Commissioner Bull Connor's police dogs and fire hoses. A few months later, the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church was bombed, killing four young black girls. This heinous crime would become the catalyst for one of the greatest social revolutions in American history.

As a young girl growing up within Birmingham's white racist establishment, Diane McWhorter writes from a unique perspective, brilliantly chronicling the inside history of organized hate in the Deep South. Tracing the origin of the church bombing back to the New Deal, where the Ku Klux Klan began to systematically infiltrate labor unions and political organizations, McWhorter reveals the complex interplay between the Klan, politicians, and police to perpetuate a climate of hate and fear among Birmingham's black population.

The author reveals the villains as well as the heroes of this drama, including Bull Connor, George Wallace, Fred Shuttlesworth, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Shuttlesworth, a Baptist minister, initiated peaceful mass protests in Birmingham. With the arrival of Martin Luther King, Jr. on the scene and his subsequent arrest and imprisonment, the civil rights movement became a national cause.

Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama: The Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution is a thoroughly researched and documented work, and the sheer amount of information and detail may intimidate some readers, but the story of this long road to justice needs to be told and is well worth the effort. With clarity and passion, it powerfully illuminates the shameful history of segregation in America and the triumph of the civil rights movement. Not only is it the story of the social transformation of America, but the story of the author's profound personal transformation as well, who stands as a witness and chronicler of this remarkable history.