Voices in Our Blood is a literary anthology of the most important and artful interpretations of the civil rights movement, past and present. It showcases what forty of the nation’s best writers – including Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, Alice Walker, Robert Penn Warren, Eudora Welty, and Richard Wright – had to say about the central domestic drama of the American Century. Editor Jon Meacham has chosen pieces by journalists, novelists, historians, and artists, bringing together a wide range of black and white perspectives and experiences. The result is an unprecedented and powerful portrait of the movement’s spirit and struggle, told through voices that resonate with passion and strength. Maya Angelou takes us on a poignant journey back to her childhood in the Arkansas of the 1930s; on the front page of The New York Times, James Reston marks the movement’s apex as he describes what it was like to watch Martin Luther King, Jr., deliver his heralded “I Have a Dream” speech in real time; Alice Walker takes up the movement’s progress a decade later in her article ‘Choosing to Stay at Home: Ten Years After the March on Washington’; John Lewis chronicles the unimaginable courage of the ordinary African Americans who challenged the prevailing order, paid for it in blood and tears, and justly triumphed. Voices in Our Blood is a compelling look at the movement as it actually happened, from the days leading up to World War II to the anxieties and ambiguities of this new century.
Random House, 2003