On August 27, 2012, we will publish a paperback edition of Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts by Women in SNCC, edited by Faith S. Holsaert, Martha Prescod Norman Noonan, Judy Richardson, Betty Garman Robinson, Jean Smith Young, and Dorothy M. Zellner. The book’s 52 contributors share personal stories of working for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) on the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement.
In addition to being a top seller for the University of Illinois Press since its original publication in 2010, Hands on the Freedom Plow has earned numerous plaudits:
-Winner of the Letitia Woods Brown Book Award, sponsored by the Association of Black Women Historians, 2011
-Winner of the 2010 Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change’s National Book Award, 2011
-Received a nomination for the 42nd NAACP Image Awards in the category of Outstanding Literary Work, Nonfiction, 2011
“The stories of the ‘beloved community’ of unknown women in Hands on the Freedom Plow convey a transcendent message of how history can be changed by committed individuals who stand up to what is wrong and live by that old freedom song ‘Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me roun.’”–Essence, Charlayne Hunter-Gault
“Page after page reveals remarkable stories of courage and defiance. . . . The book opens a window onto the organizing tradition of the Southern civil rights movement.”–The Root
“Completely upend[s] both traditional and radical histories of the modern civil rights movement by placing women at the center of their narrative and interpretive process. This is a breathtaking achievement. . . . Because of the power of the storytelling, as a reader I felt as though I were living through events as they were unfolding. I felt the terror of the violence and the euphoria of triumph.”–Women’s Review of Books
“Powerful, inspiring, and tremendously moving, the oral histories collected here highlight the essential role women played as organizers and activists with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in the South of the early 1960s. . . . Essential reading for anyone interested in the Civil Rights Movement.”–Library Journal
Though the official publication date is still a few weeks away, Hands of the Freedom Plow has started appearing in bookstores and is shipping from our website and major online retailers.