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Lanterns

A Memoir of Mentors

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Hardcover published by Beacon Press (Beacon Press)

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About This Book
I am grateful beyond words for the example of the lanterns shared in this memoir whose lives I hope will illuminate my children's, your children's, and the paths of countless others coming behind.--Marian Wright Edelman, from the Preface

Marian Wright Edelman, "the most influential children's advocate in the country" (The Washington Post), shares stories from her life at the center of this century's most dramatic civil rights struggles. She pays tribute to the extraordinary personal mentors who helped light her way: Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert F. Kennedy, Fannie Lou Hamer, William Sloane Coffin, Ella Baker, Mae Bertha Carter, and many others.

She celebrates the lives of the great Black women of Bennettsville, South Carolina-Miz Tee, Miz Lucy, Miz Kate-who along with her parents formed a formidable and loving network of community support for the young Marian Wright as a Black girl growing up in the segregated South. We follow the author to Spelman College in the late 1950s, when the school was a hotbed of civil rights activism, and where, through excerpts from her honest and passionate college journal, we witness a national leader in the making and meet the people who inspired and empowered her, including Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, Howard Zinn, and Charles E. Merrill, Jr.

Lanterns takes us to Mississippi in the 1960s, where Edelman was the first and only Black woman lawyer. Her account of those years is a riveting first-hand addition to the literature of civil rights: "The only person I recognized in the menacing crowd as I walked towards the front courthouse steps was [a] veteran New York Times reporter. He neither acknowledged me nor met my eyes. I knew then what it was like to be a poor Black person in Mississippi: alone." And we follow Edelman as she leads Bobby Kennedy on his fateful trip to see Mississippi poverty and hunger for himself, a powerful personal experience for the young RFK that helped awaken a nation's conscience to child hunger and poverty.

Lanterns is illustrated with thirty of the author's personal photographs and includes "A Parent's Pledge" and "Twenty-five More Lessons for Life," an inspiration to all of us-parents, grandparents, teachers, religious and civic leaders-to guide, protect, and love our children every day so that they will become, in Marian Wright Edelman's moving vision, the healing agents for national transformation.
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I am grateful beyond words for the example of the lanterns shared in this memoir whose lives I hope will illuminate my children's, your children's, and the paths of countless others coming behind.--Marian Wright Edelman, from the Preface

Marian Wright Edelman, "the most influential children's advocate in the country" (The Washington Post), shares stories from her life at the center of this century's most dramatic civil rights struggles. She pays tribute to the extraordinary personal mentors who helped light her way: Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert F. Kennedy, Fannie Lou Hamer, William Sloane Coffin, Ella Baker, Mae Bertha Carter, and many others.

She celebrates the lives of the great Black women of Bennettsville, South Carolina-Miz Tee, Miz Lucy, Miz Kate-who along with her parents formed a formidable and loving network of community support for the young Marian Wright as a Black girl growing up in the segregated South. We follow the author to Spelman College in the late 1950s, when the school was a hotbed of civil rights activism, and where, through excerpts from her honest and passionate college journal, we witness a national leader in the making and meet the people who inspired and empowered her, including Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, Howard Zinn, and Charles E. Merrill, Jr.

Lanterns takes us to Mississippi in the 1960s, where Edelman was the first and only Black woman lawyer. Her account of those years is a riveting first-hand addition to the literature of civil rights: "The only person I recognized in the menacing crowd as I walked towards the front courthouse steps was [a] veteran New York Times reporter. He neither acknowledged me nor met my eyes. I knew then what it was like to be a poor Black person in Mississippi: alone." And we follow Edelman as she leads Bobby Kennedy on his fateful trip to see Mississippi poverty and hunger for himself, a powerful personal experience for the young RFK that helped awaken a nation's conscience to child hunger and poverty.

Lanterns is illustrated with thirty of the author's personal photographs and includes "A Parent's Pledge" and "Twenty-five More Lessons for Life," an inspiration to all of us-parents, grandparents, teachers, religious and civic leaders-to guide, protect, and love our children every day so that they will become, in Marian Wright Edelman's moving vision, the healing agents for national transformation.
Product Details
Hardcover (208 pages)
Published: October 15, 1999
Publisher: Beacon Press
Imprint: Beacon Press
ISBN: 9780807072141
Other books byMarian Wright Edelman
  • The Sea Is So Wide and My Boat Is So Small

    The Sea Is So Wide and My Boat Is So Small
    Charting a Course for the Next Generation
    In America today, the gap between the rich and the poor is the greatest ever recorded--larger than any other industrialized nation. It has become far too easy to ignore the hardships of millions of children plagued by poverty, poor health, illiteracy, violence, adult hypocrisy, and injustice. As founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund, Marian Wright Edelman knows all too well the suffering of so many of our nation's children, who live every day with adversity most of us can barely imagine. In The Sea Is So Wide and My Boat Is So Small, Edelman asks difficult questions about what we truly value, and looks hard at what we can--and must--do to build a nation fit for all children. With the passion and conviction that have made her our leading child advocate, she calls us all to stand up for the future of America. What have we done and what have we left undone? What lessons can we learn from our past and our present to realize a just and peaceful national and world vision for our children and grandchildren? Marian Wright Edelman challenges all of us--our leaders, our teachers, the faith community, parents, grandparents, and future generations--to end the epidemic physical and spiritual poverty afflicting millions of our children. We can leave our children with a better, safer, and fairer world if we care enough. And we can--and must--do it now.

    She Would Not Be Moved

    She Would Not Be Moved
    How We Tell the Story of Rosa Parks and the...
    Published in hardcover in the fall of 2005 shortly before Rosa Parks died, She Would Not Be Moved is a timely and important exploration of how the story of Rosa Parks and the Montgomery bus boycott has been distorted when taught in schools. Hailed by the New York Times Book Review when it was first published as having "the transcendent power that allows us to see . . . alternate ways of viewing our history and understanding what is going on in our classrooms," this expanded version of Kohl’s original groundbreaking discussion "deftly catalogs problems with the prevailing presentations of Parks and offers [a] more historically accurate, politically pointed and age-appropriate alternative" (Chicago Tribune). In addition to Marian Wright Edelman’s introduction, She Would Not Be Moved includes an original essay by Cynthia Brown on civil rights activists Septima Clark, Virginia Durr, and Rosa Parks; a teachers’ resource guide to educational materials about Rosa Parks and the civil rights movement; and an appendix explaining how to evaluate textbooks for young people about this critical period in U.S. history.

    Silver Rights

    Silver Rights
    With an introduction by Marian Wright Edelman. This is a true story from the front lines of the civil rights struggle--the story of the Carter family of Sunflower County, Mississippi. African-American sharecroppers and the parents of thirteen children, Mae Bertha and Matthew Carter accepted their school district's 1965 "Freedom of Choice" offer at its face value and enrolled their seven school-age children in the formerly all-white schools of tiny Drew, Mississippi. SILVER RIGHTS tells what happened to them next. As noted civil rights activist and Children's Defense Fund president, Marian Wright Edelman says in her introduction, "This deeply moving book chronicles the pain and poverty in the lives of sharecroppers, their extraordinary grit, courage, and endurance." "We should be grateful to and inspired by the lives of the Carter family."--Booklist; "A book teeming with loud voices and heat and faith, and backbreaking work and timeless courage and honor."--Melissa Fay Greene, author of PRAYING FOR SHEETROCK. A LITERARY GUILD SELECTION.

    The Measure of Our Success

    The Measure of Our Success
    Letter to My Children and Yours
    The #1 New York Times bestseller is a thinking person's Life's Little Instruction Book, with simple yet inspirational messages about living.

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