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Book Cover
Author Honigsberg, Peter Jan.

Title Crossing Border Street : a civil rights memoir / Peter Jan Honigsberg.

Published Berkeley : University of California Press, 2000.


Location Call No. Status
 UniM Law  KM 223 L87 HONI    AVAILABLE
Physical description pages cm
Notes Includes index.
Contents 1. From the Subway to Mississippi 1. -- 2. Armed Escorts 17 -- 3. Klan Violence and the Deacons 26 -- 4. First Cousins 34 -- 5. Evenings at Cozy Corners 45 -- 6. Stepping off the Sidelines 51 -- 7. Welcome to New Orleans 58 -- 8. Litigating the End to Segregation 68 -- 9. Hiroshima Vigil 80 -- 10. Slave Quarters on Royal Street 89 -- 11. An Unwarranted Touching 93 -- 12. Louisiana Justice 98 -- 13. Jailhouse Fears 104 -- 14. Sobol v Perez 110 -- 15. "Throw Me Something, Mister" 119 -- 16. Unsettling Experiences 126 -- 17. "We'll Bring Your Freedom Back to You" 134 -- 18. Moving On 149.
Summary In 1966 Peter Jan Honigsberg--a young, idealistic law student--arrived in the South to help provide legal representation for civil rights workers. Although based in New Orleans, most of his work was in the city of Bogalusa and in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. Bogalusa was the heart of the Louisiana movement and the home of one of the most formidable but little-known black organizations in the country, the Deacons for Defense and Justice, the first modern-day African American organization to carry weapons and to respond with force against the Ku Klux Klan. This riveting memoir, one of only a handful of full-length first-person accounts of the civil rights movement, is both a stirring coming-of-age story and a thrilling chronicle of a remarkable era in United States history.
Honigsberg's engaging narrative conveys the emotions and personal dangers activists faced and examines the work of three charismatic black leaders: A. Z. Young, Robert Hicks, and Gayle Jenkins. He describes how the Deacons worked with the Bogalusa Voters League to boycott the white-owned businesses in the downtown area and to integrate the local schools, restaurants, parks, and paper mill. He also relates the story of Gary Duncan, a black man charged with battery for touching a white boy in Plaquemines Parish, the fiefdom of arch-segregationist Leander Perez. Honigsberg was part of the team that took the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and eventually established the constitutional right to a jury trial.
Unlike most law students, Honigsberg not only worked on legal issues, he participated directly in marches and demonstrations. His narrative includes lively first-hand accounts of his attempt--with a group of black and white demonstrators--to integrate a beach on Lake Ponchartrain, his experience of marching through hostile Ku Klux Klan territory under the eye of the National Guard, and his witnessing a prominent civil rights leader lift his car's trunk to display a cache of carbines and grenades to a station attendant who refused to fill the tank with gas.
Honigsberg considers the impact of the change that occurred in the fall of 1967, when Martin Luther King's dream of blacks and whites working together in a cooperative partnership gave way to the new cry of "Black Power." His memoir provides a unique glimpse into the civil rights movement and those who were forever changed by its struggle for human dignity and vision of racial justice and equality.
Subject Honigsberg, Peter Jan.
African Americans -- Civil rights -- Louisiana -- History -- 20th century.
African Americans -- Legal status, laws, etc. -- Louisiana -- History -- 20th century.
African American civil rights workers -- Louisiana -- History -- 20th century.
Civil rights workers -- Louisiana -- Biography.
Law students -- Louisiana -- Biography.
Louisiana -- Race relations.
ISBN 0520221478 (cloth : alk. paper)