Read the article, "Lessons of 'struggle' possess a role today
," published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on January 20, 2008.
From the Back of the Line: The Views of a Teenager From the 1960s Civil Rights Movement chronicles the life of a young African-American girl who moved from a follower to a leader in human rights. Sixteen-year-old Gloria Ward was arrested four times in 1962 for demonstrating against the ills of segregation and racism in her hometown of Albany, Georgia. With her teenage friends and classmates, she marched behind Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. Ralph David Abernathy, Sr., Rev. Charles Sherrod, the Honorable Andrew Young, the late Rev. Samuel Wells and other, older leaders. In a widely circulated newspaper article, Gloria was criticized by a white Albany teenager, Kay Smith, who wasn´t shy about expressing her racist opinions. Kay called Gloria “a pawn and a fool” for her involvement in the demonstrations. Kay eventually came to see civil rights in a different light. Although they never met as teenagers, Kay often wondered about Gloria and what had happened to her later in life. Thirty-five years after the newspaper article ran, Kay found Gloria through a mutual friend and apologized for her racist views and statements. Today the two women are close friends. Their story of forgiveness and friendship is just one part of Gloria´s remarkable life story as human rights activist, teacher, wife, mother, and pastor.
From the Back of the Line describes Dr. Wright´s experiences growing up during the civil rights era and moving from the back of the line to leadership positions. She has written this book because she wants young people to know their civil rights history and to understand that they can and should move forward. Her story is told with passion, candor, and light humor. She tells it like it was, how she saw and participated in history From the Back of the Line. The book also contains photographs and an appendix containing quotations from notable civil rights leaders, a summary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and recommended reading.