The classic memoir by Cleveland Sellers that offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into his volunteer work with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) during the 1960s civil rights movement.
Among histories of the civil rights movement of the 1960s, there are few personal narratives that are as compelling and insightful as The River of No Return. Besides being an insider’s account of the rise and fall of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), this riveting memoir is an eyewitness report of the strategies and the conflicts in the crucial battle zones as the fight for racial justice raged across the South.
Tracing SNCC volunteer Cleveland Sellers’ zealous commitment to activism from the time of the sit-ins, demonstrations, and freedom rides in the early ’60s, this fascinating narrative encompasses the Mississippi Freedom Summer (1964), the historic march in Selma, the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, and the murders of civil rights activists in Mississippi. Sellers also recounts the turbulent history of the SNCC and tells the powerful story of his own dedication to the cause of civil rights and social change.
The River of No Return has become a standard text for those wishing to perceive the civil rights struggle from within the ranks of one of its key organizations and to note the divisive history of the movement as groups striving for common goals were embroiled in conflict and controversy.
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About the Author
Cleveland Sellers is known internationally for his work in the civil rights movement and as an advocate for social justice. He was a top official of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and later served as director of the African American Studies program at the University of South Carolina, and as the president of Voorhees College
Table of Contents
1 Growing Up in Denmark 1
2 The Movement Comes to Denmark 17
3 SNCC: The Beginning 32
4 Courage, Commitment and Major Responsibility 46
5 Howard University: The Beginning of Total Commitment 58
6 Small War in Cambridge 70
7 The Search 85
8 The Long, Hot Summer 99
9 A River of No Return 117
10 Anarchists, Floaters and Hardliners 137
11 Setting the House in Order: Seeking Levers of Power 149
12 From Black Consciousness to Black Power 164
13 A Political Nightmare: A Personal Tragedy 179
14 "The best of times: the worst of times …" 193
15 The End of an Era 204
16 "Soon, we will not cry." 216
17 The Orangeburg Massacre 219
18 Prisonbound 234
19 The King Is Dead 244
20 SNCC Is Dead 255
21 I Have Only One Life: The Struggle 269